Neil Coyle says he will not back Keir Starmer in 2020
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The Labour Party has readmitted MP Neil Coyle as a member, just two days after fellow MPs voted to suspend him from the House of Commons. MPs handed Mr Coyle a five-day suspension from the House following a standards report into allegations of bullying and harassment. Last night, however, he informed local party members that he’s had his party membership reinstated.
An email sent from Mr Coyle said he is “proud to once again be a member of the Labour Party”.
In the email, Mr Coyle apologised to local members that “it has been so long since I was able to contact you as a Labour member in Bermondsey and Old Southwark. An independent parliamentary investigation was underway which resulted in my suspension from the Labour Party and a ban on contact.”
“To my great shame, I developed an alcohol dependency and it was right that Labour suspended me whilst the investigation took place.
“I have now apologised for my unacceptable behaviour and for not meeting the standards rightly expected of me as your MP.”
The Daily Express understands his administrative suspension was overturned following the Commons standards report into his behaviour being published.
The Labour parliamentary whip remains suspended, so he will continue to sit as a Labour MP.
It is understood Labour’s Chief Whip in the Commons is currently considering the Independent Expert Panel’s report before making a decision on whether to return the whip to Mr Coyle.
Neil Coyle explained he stopped drinking just over a year ago and has spoken about his sobriety to the media.
The MP had the Labour whip suspended in February 2022, forcing him to sit as an independent MP, after allegations emerged he’d made racist comments towards a journalist in one of Parliament’s bars.
The Guardian’s Henry Dyer, who is from a British Chinese background, published a statement shortly after the incident, alleging Neil Coyle had referred to China as “Fu Manchu” and told Dyer he looked like he was involved in giving money to fellow Labour MP Barry Gardiner, who received donations from a woman later accused of being a Chinese agent.
Mr Dyer added that Neil Coyle put two fingers up to him in a V gesture as he left the bar.
At the time a Labour spokesperson said the party “expects the highest standards of behaviour from all our MPs and we take allegations of this sort very seriously”.
Seven days ago, Parliament’s Independent Expert Panel published a report into Mr Coyle’s behaviour, which found he had engaged in “foul-mouthed and drunken abuse” towards a junior parliamentary aide employed by another MP.
The panel said the behaviour was “shocking and intimidating for any complainant, particularly a junior member of staff”.
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The independent panel investigating Mr Coyle also confirmed he used “abusive language with racial overtones” towards The Guardian’s Henry Dyer.
Neil Coyle appealed the finding that he had breached Parliament’s harassment policy in the case of Mr Dyer, however this was rejected by the Independent Expert Panel.
Mr Coyle will be unable to enter the parliamentary estate, or participate in debates for the duration of his suspension from the house, which will run from March 13 to 17.
Express.co.uk has contacted the Labour Party for comment.
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