Kate Hoey"s quirks are no longer funny – she should resign

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The Tory party isn’t the only one with its mavericks, its lone wolves, its daredevil firebrands who will choose garbled controversialism over consistency just for the lols. Labour has five MPs who voted against their own party’s whip to block a meaningful vote on Brexit. It would be a shame to give them too much credit as it only encourages them; let’s say they were merely a factor in the destruction of the serious and intelligent work by Keir Starmer, five of many nails in that coffin. One is Frank Field, the man who insists he has a hotwire into the working-class psyche, and commentators never discourage him because it might mean talking to a working-class person rather than about them. Three are no-marks, and the fifth is Kate Hoey.

I’ve lived in this MP’s constituency for half of my democratic life. I take a broad view on disloyalty to the party leadership: we all disagree with them sometimes. But never once have I heard her sound remotely in tune with anything that was important to her voters. It used to be droll, back in the day, before politics took poison; fine, have your weird vendetta against foxes, but at least count us in and let us do urban hunts, wearing tie dye, riding BMXs. Sure, go ahead – be lukewarm on gay rights, in Vauxhall; because it is so ironic, and irony is delicious.

It is no longer funny. To campaign alongside Nigel Farage from a 78% remain constituency; to wave away the Good Friday Agreement like someone on a radio phone-in who only just woke up and can’t remember Tuesday, let alone 1998; to be so shamelessly unabashed by the fact that you represent no one in whose name you take your power; it is without principle. I’m not making an outlier, back-door argument for deselections. I’m saying she should resign.

  • Zoe Williams is a Guardian columnist


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