Hove MP’s vow to stand at next election throws down the gauntlet

Posted On 29 Jun 2019 at 9:40 am

Hove MP Peter Kyle has told Labour bosses that “I will be a candidate at the next election”.

His declaration was in reply to a tick-box form sent to the party’s sitting MPs and hints that were he to be deselected by Labour he would run as an Independent.

The form gave MPs two weeks to decide whether they “wish to stand for reselection as a candidate in the next general election”.

The other box was for those who did not want to stand for reselection, signalling their retirement from the House of Commons at the next election.

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Mr Kyle’s handwritten answer on the tick-box form throws down the gauntlet to some of those in his party who want to deselect him.

On the left-right political spectrum, Mr Kyle is nearer the centre than his party’s leader Jeremy Corbyn – and some believe that Mr Kyle should be replaced by a Corbynite.

But Mr Kyle’s supporters say that he won his Hove seat in 2015 when Labour was otherwise wiped out in the south east of England.

And at the 2017 general election he recorded one of the biggest swings to Labour as his majority went up from 1,236 to 18,757.

Mr Kyle, 48, was given the backing of 36,942 voters – more than two thirds of those who turned out – and the turnout was 77.6 per cent.

One of his supporters said that Mr Kyle did not take his position for granted but he took his responsibilities to all his constituents very seriously.

Mr Kyle said that he was committed to the Labour Party and wanted his party in government.

He declined to say that he would consider running as an Independent even though other Labour MPs have left the party since the last general election two years ago.

But he said: “The dedication of residents and our community has inspired me and that is something that I treat quite solemnly.

“I will not let that bond be broken by a small and selective group from wherever they might come in our community.

“People ask me how long I’m going to do this job. My answer is always, firstly, as long as the community wants me and, secondly, as long as I’ve got the stamina to do it well.”

A Labour source said: “Peter feels very emotionally that the only people to boot him out will be the voters.”

  1. Valerie Reply

    As the Tories explode to the scary right and the Momentum-led Labour Party seethes to the scary reaches of the left, it is pretty obvious who will slide into the gap and into power. The LibDems.

    Chuka Umunna saw the light and joined them. I think the LibDems vote is not one of conviction, more a flight to safety and a level of sanity that is no longer obvious in either Labour or the Tory party. It is a choice for those of a conservatively leftish persuasion which needs new blood. It is full of dullards and needs spicing up with the likes of Chuka…and Peter. But God forbid they end up like New Labour – just smarmy champagne socialist shallow Blairite types.

    Or maybe Peter could stand as an Indie – win – and then cross the floor to join the Greens? However he stands he WILL win. You are warned, Momentum.

    • Christopher Hawtree Reply

      If Peter Kyle became an Independent or joined another Party presumably his staff would go with him. In which case, Chris Henry would no longer be Labour, and that would mean Greens and Labour on the Council would both be 19 seats. Also if Peter Kyle did any of this, would he be able to keep the canvassing data or have to start from scratch?

      • ChrisC Reply

        Staff can work for him – as an MP he employs his staff not the Labour Party – and still remain a party member holding any party offices etc.

        He can’t force them to change party just because he does. And it would be petty if Labour expelled them from the party for wanting to keep their jobs.

        • Christopher Hawtree Reply

          Ut would look rather strange, though, for a Labour councillor to be working for somebody not Labour.

  2. George Coombs Reply

    Good that you are standing again Peter, parliament needs people of integrity who work hard-keep up your great work

    • ChrisC Reply

      He still has to get through the reselection process to stand again as a Labour MP so he’s not out of the woods yet.

  3. Katherine Reply

    Vote for Kyle = a vote for Corbyn.

    My vote will be going elsewhere.

  4. SamC Reply

    Peter is a very popular local MP. He will win as an independent – probably with more votes than if he remained with Labour. Labour are smart enough to realise they can either have Peter and win a seat, or lose the seat. No third option of Labour winning with another candidate. Although it is early days, the performance of new “momentum” members in the council is very lacklustre… let’s see what “can do” Nancy actually can do.

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