‘I would rather have Caroline Lucas as a neighbour than a Tory’ says Kyle

Peter Kyle, MP for Hove
Peter Kyle, MP for Hove

A Labour MP has indicated the party will concentrate on the Hove and Kemptown seats in the forthcoming general election, rather than trying to topple Green MP Caroline Lucas.

After the announcement this week of a snap general election on June 8, Caroline Lucas - the MP for Brighton Pavilion and Green Party co-leader - made a call for a ‘progressive alliance’ between her party and others to defeat the Tories.

Rejecting the idea of a pact, Labour MP for Hove Peter Kyle said: “No political party owns votes. You can’t tell voters who to vote for. In principle I just cannot accept the idea of political parties telling voters who to vote for.”

But he added: “What we can do is be strategic. If you look at Brighton and Hove, it is very obvious where Labour will be putting most of its resources. I would rather have Caroline Lucas as a neighbour than a Tory.”

On the issue of potential election pacts, Conservative MP for Brighton Kemptown Simon Kirby said: “The choice we face is clear – Theresa May as our Prime Minister with a strong negotiating hand in Europe or Jeremy Corbyn in Downing Street propped up by the Liberal Democrats and the SNP. The threat of any coalition of chaos is real. It would weaken our position on Brexit, weaken our economy and weaken our defences. I believe that local people should have as much choice as possible.”

The idea behind Ms Lucas’ ‘progressive’ pact, would be for parties to agree to field only one centre-left candidate in certain seats to avoid the vote being split, but so far no other parties are on board.