Labour leadership: Coyle says he will not back Keir Starmer in 2020
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Mr Coyle is accused of mocking Henry Dyer, British-Chinese politics reporter, while drinking in the Strangers’ bar.
It is understood that after Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle became aware of Mr Dyer’s allegations, he convened a meeting with the Serjeant at Arms who ordered that Mr Coyle should be banned from bars in the Commons for six months.
The journalist released a lengthy statement about the alleged incident last night.
He said he came into contact with Mr Coyle on the evening of Tuesday February 1, after going for Chinese New Year dinner with his family.
Mr Dyer said: “The topic eventually moved to Barry Gardiner, the Labour MP who had received funding from a suspected Chinese spy.
“Coyle made a remark suggesting Gardiner was being paid by ‘Fu Manchu’, a comment that struck me at the time as not right, given it had been well reported who had been giving Gardiner money, and so there was no need to refer to a 20th Century trope of a Chinese supervillain.
“I gently pushed back at Coyle about this. He asked me if it was just the case that I was being over-sensitive.”
Mr Dyer added that the MP went on to mock his ethnicity, saying “from how you look” he would have guessed he was a Chinese spy as well.
Labour confirmed this morning that Mr Coyle had been suspended from sitting with Labour MPs in the House of Commons pending an investigation.
A spokesperson for the party said this morning: “The Labour Party expects the highest standards of behaviour from all our MPs and we take allegations of this sort very seriously.
“Accordingly the Chief Whip has now suspended the Labour whip from Neil Coyle pending an investigation.”
More to follow…
He said he came into contact with Mr Coyle ion the evening of Tuesday February 1, after going for Chinese New Year dinner with his family.
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