Kate Hoey takes top spot on hitlist of 20 Brexit-backing MPs
Also on the list drawn up by pro-EU groups are Iain Duncan Smith and Theresa Villiers.
Labour’s Kate Hoey heads a new list of 20 seats where constituents voted to stay in the EU but their representatives are Brexit supporters.
Open Britain has teamed up with two other grassroots pro-EU organisations, European Movement and Britain for Europe, to produce the new ‘attack list’.
The pro-EU groups will now mobilise their supporters to oust the 20 MPs in the general election.
European Movement chair Stephen Dorrell stated: “Pro-Europeans need to stand up and be counted between now and 8 June. The supporters of our organisations want to be know where they can make a difference in this campaign and we are providing the tools for them to be able to.”
Many of the attack seats are in London or the south-east, with Hoey’s constituency of Vauxhall topping the list due to its substantial 77% vote to remain in the European Union in last year’s referendum.
Hoey should be an easy target for the campaigners after her outspoken pro-Brexit campaign and her enthusiastic collaborations with Nigel Farage put her at odds with her local Labour party.
In second place on list is Tory MP Victoria Borwick whose Kensington constituency is said to have voted by 69% to remain in the EU.
Another top target seat is Enfield Southgate, where Tory MP David Burrowes has a 4,700 majority. In the run-up to the referendum, Burrowes said that the EU represented an “aggressive supra-national secularism” that was “increasingly at odds with our British and Christian-based rule of law”.
A total of 12 constituencies with Brexit-backing MPs saw more than 50% of voters wanting to remain in the EU, it is claimed. They include Chingford, held by former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith since 1992. Duncan Smith currently has a majority of 8,386 over Labour.
But not all of the 20 MPs on the list voted to leave the EU in June’s referendum. As well as targeting fully-fledged Brexiteers like Duncan Smith, the pro-EU groups are also gunning for Tory MPs who supported remain but have failed to speak out against a hard Brexit if their general election opponents are fiercely pro-EU.
For example, Kingston and Surbiton MP James Berry is on the list. He voted remain but has since clashed with the likes of former SNP leader Alex Salmond over the suggestion the British people have put their future and economy at risk. He is being challenged by the former Lib Dem cabinet minister Ed Davey.
The number of target seats could rise as parties finalise their selection of candidates. The idea was raised on Sunday, when Tony Blair called on voters to put aside party allegiance and select those candidates most likely to prevent “Brexit at any cost”.
“Whenever you tell a story, you tell a lie.” That’s a great line from the play, and it feels very now.