University of Sussex Students' Newspaper

Peter Kyle MP: Labour’s New Politics drives me up the wall

Freya Marshall Payne

ByFreya Marshall Payne

Feb 15, 2016

Local MP Peter Kyle has launched an attack on the Labour leadership at a Sussex campus Q&A on February 4.

The Badger has acquired a recording of the event which quotes Kyle as highlighting the new leader’ unpopularity with the general public perceived by various opinion polls, appealing for stronger party “discipline” and a different “focus”.

The Labour parliamentarian also revealed to a group of 20 students in Fulton that Corbyn no longer speaks to him.

When asked by a student whether policies should be formulated by the membership or whether the Labour Party should consider more the legitimacy of parliamentary MPs, Kyle answered: “Personally I find it really frustrating, because I didn’t go into politics to talk about the Labour Party.  I went into politics because I wanted to help solve people’s problems and how we together tackle the problems our nation faces.

“But increasingly, when I go onto the media, it’s answering questions about reshuffles and internal party political issues, and you can imagine how frustrating it is for someone like me who went through so much to get into politics.

“I accept we’re in a very different world, and part of the ‘New Politics’ is that we talk about ourselves rather than other people which drives me up the wall.”

The 45-year-old former Sussex student continued: “If you look at the numbers, it’s easy to think David Cameron is popular, because he’s so much more popular than the leader we have at the moment! But that doesn’t mean he is popular, and he’s one of the least popular Prime Ministers in my lifetime.

“So we mustn’t be daunted, or deceived away from the fact that this government can be beaten by a party which has a very clear message and an alternative set of policies we can get passionate about.  We need the right discipline and the right focus.”

He added: “I’ve seen a few Tory governments in my time, and this is the most beatable Tory government that I’ve ever come across.  You know, we have a Tory government which is pulling frontline policing out of communities [and] which is drawing almost all support for people with disabilities.

“We’re turning into the kind of society and communities which I thought we’d moved beyond.  We have a government which has a vision for Britain in the world which is solely based on trade, and I find that incredibly challenging, and it’s an issue that the Labour Party which is internationalist in [its] roots, should be absolutely leaning on.”

Peter Kyle was elected in May last year, winning Hove which had been occupied by Conservative Mike Weatherley who decided not to rerun. 

In December, Mr. Kyle hit the headlines after he was sent a photograph of a dead baby through his letter box after voting in favour of the government’s planned air strikes in Syria.

Paul Millar

Freya Marshall Payne

By Freya Marshall Payne

Editor-in-Chief. Freya also works on a radio show for Platform B, "Off the Fence", and has freelanced for local newspapers. Freya was previously the Badger's News Editor, and while at sixth form college she founded a student newspaper, The Cymbal. Twitter:

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