Further news comes of the four Labour MPs who, along with a small number of others more inclined to keep their heads down, have opted to adhere to the promise which they and, indeed, each of the 635 Labour candidates at the last Election, made to the Electorate that a Labour Government would offer a referendum on the EU Constitution.

ConservativeHome draws attention to reports that Gisela Stuart and Graham Stringer have opted to distance themselves from I Want A Referendum, to the extent of their names being removed from its campaign literature, though they remain supportive of its aims, whereas Kate Hoey and Frank Field have both opted to defy Labour Chief Weasel Geoff Hoon who tried to bully all four of them into kowtowing to Labour’s dishonourable and dishonest breach of its promise on the referendum issue.

ConHome draws attention to the commentary on LabourHome concerning Hoey and Field. This makes for some interesting reading. One comment about Hoey struck me as notable because it supports the contention that were she to stand as an Independent she would win hands down (especially if she had the potential support of 5400 odd conservative votes, assuming the Tories opted to let her have a free run):

Hoey has been slightly detached for years – but I think to some extent her way of working is in battling authority.

She is loved in Vauxhall constituency for it – I have been out canvassing for her and to all intents and purposes it is the Kate Hoey vote that we were getting out not the Labour vote.

She defines hereself [sic] as the outsider: the constituents’ champion against the Labour Lambeth council and the Labour government.

She is a very good constituency MP. I’m sure that if she had the whip withdrawn and stood as an independent she would more than likely win the seat without Labour – there are enough social housing tenants who remember how kate sorted out their housing, immigration, benefits or other problem for her to be re-elected. She is also very well liked in Vauxhall CLP – she always turns up for meetings, is happy to help with campaigning and will deal with issues/ problems.

Everyone defines her as ‘their’ MP so I don’t [sic] think that withdrawl [sic] of the whip will do much to her and would be disasterous [sic] for Labour – its better to have her on side as a ‘tolerated eccentric’ than have her on the outside

I have retained the errors as an aside on the state of our public education after ten years of Blairism and forty years of the system of comprehensive education.

As one might suspect, she is one of those old-fashioned MPs who understand the concept of public service and though partisan at elections, put in the time to represent all their constituents all the time. These MPs build and hold a strong personal vote. I strongly suspect that much the same could be said of Frank Field.

The rest of the LabourHome Commentariat’s effort is knee-jerk vitriol-throwing stuff and is notable for the absence of thinking through the implications of expelling two MPs on this issue.

Given the tone and weight of numbers, however, one suspects that a head of steam may be built up in favour of withdrawing the whip from them. That could well see either their defection to the Conservatives or sitting (and then standing at the next election) as Independents or even, as I mused the other day, resigning now and fighting highly damaging and embarrassing bye-elections. I think Hoon may just be stupid enough to do it, pour encourager les autres, only to discover that stupidity has its price when they are reminded by the voters that old-fashioned MPs command that degree of personal loyalty which would easily sustain them through a contest as an independent.

Jack Straw & Kate Hoey In NUS days

The we shall see what view the electorate take of parties which rat so disgracefully on their manifesto commitments.