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Catharine Letitia "Kate" Hoey (born 21 June 1946) is a British Labour Party politician who has served as the Member of Parliament for Vauxhall since a 1989 by-election. She served in the Blair Government as Minister for Sport from 1999–2001.

Kate Hoey

Kate Hoey, May 2009 1.jpg
Chair of the Northern Ireland Affairs Select Committee
In office
15 May 2019 – 12 June 2019
Preceded byAndrew Murrison
Succeeded bySimon Hoare
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Sport
In office
20 October 1999 – 7 June 2001
Prime MinisterTony Blair
Preceded byTony Banks
Succeeded byRichard Caborn
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Home Affairs
In office
28 July 1998 – 29 July 1999
Prime MinisterTony Blair
Preceded byThe Lord Williams of Mostyn
Succeeded byThe Lord Bassam of Brighton
Member of Parliament
for Vauxhall
Assumed office
15 June 1989
Preceded byStuart Holland
Majority20,250 (36.7%)
Personal details
Born (1946-06-21) 21 June 1946 (age 73)
Mallusk, Northern Ireland[1]
Political partyLabour
Alma materUniversity of Ulster
London Guildhall University
Websitewww.katehoey.com

Contents

Early lifeEdit

Hoey was born in Mallusk, County Antrim,[1] and studied at Belfast Royal Academy and the Ulster College of Physical Education.[2] She has a degree in Economics earned at London Guildhall University and was a Vice-President of the National Union of Students.[3]

SportEdit

Hoey has a longstanding interest in sport. She was the 1966 Northern Ireland high jump champion[4] and has worked for football clubs including: Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Queens Park Rangers, Chelsea and Brentford, as an educational advisor. Before entering Parliament, she was educational adviser to Arsenal FC from 1985 to 1989.

A founder member of the London Northern Ireland Supporters' Club, Hoey took part in a St Patrick's Day parade in London with Northern Ireland manager Lawrie Sanchez.[5]

Political careerEdit

 
Hoey in 2009, on the day of Michael Martin's resignation as Speaker of the House of Commons

Prior to being a member of the Labour Party, Hoey was a member of the International Marxist Group, whose policies included support for a united Ireland.[6] As a member of Labour she unsuccessfully contested Dulwich at the 1983 and 1987 general elections, being defeated by the Conservative Gerald Bowden, on the second occasion by only 180 votes. In 1989, she was elected at the Vauxhall by-election precipitated by the resignation of Stuart Holland. Black candidate Martha Osamor had the most nominations, with Hoey only having one,[7] but the National Executive Committee declined to shortlist Osamor and imposed a shortlist on the constituency party. When the local party refused to choose from the shortlist, Hoey was imposed by the NEC as the Labour candidate.[8]

Hoey was Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Home Office from 1998 to 1999, and Minister for Sport in the Department of Culture, Media and Sport from 1999 to 2001.

Hoey is a Eurosceptic and libertarian, and has often rebelled against her party.[9] She was a prominent critic of the ban on handguns[10] and, in an interview in Sporting Gun magazine, voiced her support for fox hunting.[10] She has voted against Labour government policy on the war in Iraq, foundation hospitals, university tuition and top-up fees, ID cards and extended detention without trial. She was a leading Labour rebel supporting a referendum on the EU Lisbon Treaty.[11] Hoey has also opposed the smoking ban in clubs and pubs, reclassification of cannabis from a Class B to Class C and originally opposed devolution. She also favours stricter controls on immigration, tougher welfare reform, withdrawal from the European Union, English Votes for English Laws, grammar schools, marriage tax allowances, free schools and academies. She is a critic of the BBC and also spoke in support of the election of unionist MPs in Northern Ireland.

As the chairman of the all-party parliamentary group on Zimbabwe, Hoey was a vocal critic of the government of Robert Mugabe. In 2005, she called on Tony Blair to put diplomatic pressure on South Africa to condemn Zimbabwean government demolitions of townships, after an unsanctioned visit to the country.[12] The Zimbabwean government threatened to jail her if she repeated her "sneak" visit.[13]

In 2010, Hoey was described as "the least gay-friendly of all Labour MPs" by the chief executive of Stonewall.[14] However, she voted in favour of same-sex marriage in 2013.[15]

On 29 April 2008, it was announced that Hoey would form part of the team of Conservative Boris Johnson, should he become Mayor, as an unpaid non-executive director advising on sport and the 2012 Olympics.[16] The announcement was controversial both because Hoey had once said of London's Olympic bid "we don't deserve it and Paris does"[17] and because it could have been perceived as endorsing an election candidate from a rival party.[18]

Hoey nominated John McDonnell for the Labour leadership election of 2010, but on his withdrawal, she switched her nomination to Diane Abbott. However, she voted for Andy Burnham, giving Ed Miliband her second preference. In 2015, Hoey supported Andy Burnham and Caroline Flint for the leadership and deputy leadership, saying that she could not see Liz Kendall as a Prime Minister.[citation needed]

2016 EU referendum and afterEdit

Hoey advocated the United Kingdom should leave the European Union during the campaign for the EU membership referendum held on 23 June 2016. She pointed to Labour's earlier Eurosceptism "from Attlee to Foot" in The Independent and changes in European bodies since Jacques Delors' advocacy of a "social Europe" to refute the claim that Eurosceptism is a movement of the right.[19] She later extended these views characterising the EU as a "part of the global movement to remove democratic resistance to capitalism" and as fascism in a Heat Street/blog article[20] that was after the EU referendum deleted from her blog.

Originally active in Labour Leave as a co-chair, Hoey resigned in February 2016 following internal disagreements.[21] Soon afterwards, she became active in Grassroots Out, along with then-UKIP leader Nigel Farage and George Galloway, then-leader of the Respect Party.[22] In her Vauxhall constituency, an estimated 78% voted to remain in the EU.[23][24] Her Constituency Labour Party (CLP) stated in February 2017 that she was insufficiently opposing Conservative government policy on child refugees and the residency rights of EU nationals after the UK leaves.[25]

In the following month, Hoey was one of seventy parliamentary signatories to a letter sent to the BBC director general Tony Hall, along with two Labour colleagues and many Conservative politicians, which was critical of the BBC for running stories biased against Brexit.[26] Since then she has continued to criticise the BBC, accusing them of being "embittered remainers" who were "taking delight" in "undermining our country". Fellow Labour MP Wes Streeting responded that it was Orwellian to expect broadcasters to "act as cheerleaders for the government".[27]

During an interview on BBC Radio 4's Today programme in November 2017, Hoey commented that the Irish border problem – how to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, post-Brexit, whilst avoiding a border in the Irish Sea between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK – would be solved if the Republic of Ireland also left the EU. Addressing Senator Neale Richmond, Fine Gael Spokesperson on European Affairs in the Senate of the Republic of Ireland, Hoey said: "We joined the EU together, you joined when we joined, and I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if we leave and when we are very successful that you don't start thinking about leaving as well".[28]

Hoey attracted criticism again from within the Labour Party and from Irish political figures in February 2018 after she said the Good Friday Agreement was "not sustainable in the long term". These comments followed similar remarks by Eurosceptic Conservative politicians Daniel Hannan and Owen Paterson. Simon Coveney, Ireland's Tánaiste (deputy head of government) and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade condemned the comments as "not only irresponsible but reckless". Owen Smith, the Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, said the remarks by Hannan, Paterson and Hoey were a "concerted, transparent effort to undermine the GFA...driven by their blind, misplaced faith in Brexit" and was "reckless and utterly wrong".[29]

On 17 July 2018 Hoey was one of five Labour MPs who defied the Labour whip in order to vote with the government on a Brexit amendment, which, if passed, would have required the UK to remain a member of a customs union with the EU in the event of no other arrangements on free trade and no arrangements for no hard border in Ireland. The UK Government was against this amendment, but would have lost the vote without Hoey and the other Labour rebels, who possibly saved the Government from defeat.[30][31] A few days later her Constituency Labour Party members passed a motion calling for the Labour whip to be withdrawn from Hoey and for her to become ineligible to be a future Labour Party parliamentary candidate.[32]

On 8 July 2019 Hoey announced that she is retiring from the House of Commons, and will not seek re-election as a Labour candidate at the next general election.[33]

Other interestsEdit

 
Hoey in 2010, at the launch of the Blue Badge 2012 Guided Tours for the 2012 Summer Olympics

Hoey is known for her objection to the Labour Government's ban of fox hunting: a rare position among Labour MPs.[34] On 22 July 2005, she was named the new chairman of the Countryside Alliance (a British group known for its pro-hunting stance).[35] She said the appointment was a "great honour and a great challenge". The Alliance's headquarters are in Hoey's Vauxhall constituency.[36] This appointment was controversial in the Labour Party as the Countryside Alliance was seen to be behind a campaign to unseat Labour MPs at the 2005 election. Hoey stepped down in 2015 saying "I am sad to be resigning after more than nine years as chairman of the Countryside Alliance. The organisation has achieved much in that time, but I will always be most proud that having joined when hunting faced such uncertainty, I leave with new generations queuing up to join the hunting field."[37]

Hoey is patron of Roots & Shoots, a vocational training centre for young people in Lambeth.[38]

Hoey has been a trustee of the Outward Bound charity since October 2002.[39]

A vice-president of the Great Britain Wheelchair Basketball Association, Hoey is a supporter of the women's national team and the work of the charity.

In December 2018 she became patron of the Professional Paralegal Register.[40]

In October 2013, Hoey was fined £240 for driving through a red light having previously criticised cyclists as "Lycra louts that run red lights".[41][42] Hoey wants all cyclists to pay tax[41] and be registered so they have a registration number:

Government and parliamentary positionsEdit

  • Opposition spokesperson, citizen's charter and women (1992–1993)
  • PPS to Frank Field, Department of Social Security (1997–1998)
  • Junior minister, home office (1998–1999)
  • Junior minister, department of culture, media and sport (1999–2001)

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "New Minister brings her sporty spark into the game of politics". The Irish Times. 7 August 1999. Retrieved 14 December 2017.
  2. ^ "Interview: Kate Hoey". The Guardian. 30 April 2001. Retrieved 8 September 2017.
  3. ^ "Kate Hoey". politics.co.uk.
  4. ^ "Northern Irish Championships". gbrathletics.com. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  5. ^ McDonald, Ruth (19 March 2007). "BBC News". BBC News. Retrieved 13 April 2010.
  6. ^ Staunton, Denis (10 December 2017). "Kate Hoey: an Antrim-born MP who said Ireland should pay for Border". The Irish Times.
  7. ^ "Martha Osamor: unsung hero of Britain's black struggle – Institute of Race Relations". www.irr.org.uk.
  8. ^ Rye, Danny (2014). Political Parties and the Concept of Power: A Theoretical Famework. Basingstoke, Hants: Palgrave Macmillan. p. 92.
  9. ^ "The Public Whip website". Publicwhip.org.uk. Retrieved 13 April 2010.
  10. ^ a b Sapsted, David (2 January 2001). "Hoey criticises ban on handguns". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
  11. ^ "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 21 Jan 2008 (pt 0022)". Parliament of the United Kingdom.
  12. ^ "Blair pressed on Zimbabwe stance". BBC. 16 June 2005. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
  13. ^ "Zimbabwe threatens to jail Hoey for 'sneak' trip". The Daily Telegraph. 7 October 2006. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
  14. ^ Summerskill, Ben (24 March 2010). "Gay-friendly? MPs lag behind Britain". The Guardian. London.
  15. ^ "MP-by-MP: Gay marriage vote". BBC News. 5 February 2013.
  16. ^ "Labour Hoey would help Tory mayor", BBC News, 29 April 2008. Retrieved 29 April 2008.
  17. ^ Hart, Simon (4 May 2008). "Fury over role for Kate Hoey". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
  18. ^ Jones, Sam (30 April 2008). "Labour MP denies defection in mayoral campaign". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
  19. ^ -Hoey, Kate (9 October 2015). "Labour MP Kate Hoey: Why leaving the EU is a left-wing move". The Independent. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  20. ^ "Kate Hoey: The Left-Wing Case For Brexit". web.archive.org. 19 September 2016. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
  21. ^ Hughes, Laura (5 February 2016). "Kate Hoey quits Brexit group after leadership row". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  22. ^ Sims, Alexandra (21 February 2017). "George Galloway compares relationship with Nigel Farage to Churchill and Stalin". The Independent. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  23. ^ "How the United Kingdom voted on Thursday... and why – Lord Ashcroft Polls". lordashcroftpolls.com. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  24. ^ Franklin, Will; Holder, Josh; Osborn, Matt; Clarke, Sean; Kommenda, Niko; Franklin, Will; Holder, Josh; Osborn, Matt; Clarke, Sean (23 June 2016). "EU referendum full results – find out how your area voted". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  25. ^ Murphy, Joe (27 February 2017). "Brexit MP Kate Hoey denounced by her own constituency party". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  26. ^ Cowburn, Ashley (21 March 2017). "BBC accused of Brexit bias by more than 70 MPs in open letter". The Independent. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  27. ^ Mann, Sebastian (19 September 2017). "Brexit-backing Labour MP Kate Hoey sparks row with 'Orwellian' BBC criticism". Evening Standard.
  28. ^ BBC Radio 4 Today programme, Monday 27 November 2017, beginning 2hrs 41ʹ48ʺ into the programme)
  29. ^ O'Carroll, Lisa (20 February 2018). "Ireland condemns Kate Hoey's 'reckless' Good Friday agreement remarks". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
  30. ^ Kinchen, Rosie (22 July 2018). "Kate Hoey, the Labour MP who saved the Tories". Sunday Times. London. Retrieved 27 July 2018.
  31. ^ Syal, Rajeev (18 July 2018). "Kate Hoey under pressure from Labour after siding with Tories". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 July 2018.
  32. ^ Schofield, Kevin (27 July 2018). "Kate Hoey facing deselection after Labour activists pass 'no confidence' motion over Brexit stance". PoliticsHome. Retrieved 27 July 2018.
  33. ^ @KateHoeyMP (8 July 2019). "Whoever is fortunate enough to be the next MP for Vauxhall I wish them well" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  34. ^ Department of the Official Report (Hansard), House of Commons, Westminster (15 September 2004). "Hansard text". Parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk. Archived from the original on 5 June 2011. Retrieved 13 April 2010.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  35. ^ "Our structure". Countryside Alliance. Archived from the original on 18 June 2012.
  36. ^ "Western Mail & Echo". Icwales.icnetwork.co.uk. 31 October 2006. Retrieved 13 April 2010.
  37. ^ "Kate Hoey MP to step down as Alliance Chairman" (Press release). Countryside Alliance. 24 March 2015. Archived from the original on 30 July 2018. Retrieved 30 July 2018.
  38. ^ "Roots and Shoots". rootsandshoots.org.uk.
  39. ^ The Outward Bound Trust, Marketing and Communications. "Outward Bound website". Outwardbound.org.uk. Archived from the original on 30 April 2008. Retrieved 13 April 2010.
  40. ^ [1]
  41. ^ a b c Walker, Peter (2 November 2013). "Kate Hoey: the MP who thinks cyclists should be registered (and pay road tax)". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 July 2018.
  42. ^ "Labour MP who called cyclists 'law-breakers' busted for running a red". BikeBiz. 30 October 2013. Archived from the original on 1 November 2013.

External linksEdit

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Stuart Holland
Member of Parliament for Vauxhall
1989–present
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
Tony Banks
Minister for Sport
1999–2001
Succeeded by
Richard Caborn