Defected ex-Tory MP Natalie Elphicke’s worrying voting record

Labour MP’s left angered by the former hard-right MP's admission to the party over concerning track record

Natalie Elphicke Tory MP defect to Labour

Natalie Elphicke the MP for Dover defected from the Conservative Party to Labour on Wednesday just before Prime Minister’s Questions blaming Rishi Sunak for the Tories becoming “a byword for incompetence and division”.

However it was many in the Labour Party who were left angered by Keir Starmer’s decision to admit the former Tory into the party, with Labour MPs questioning why a rightwinger with her voting record was admitted and she will share the party’s values. 

Following Elphicke’s defection, Starmer said he was “delighted” to welcome her, however the Guardian reported that one shadow cabinet minister said his decision had left people “upset and angry right across the party”. 

Another shadow cabinet member told Politico that Starmer’s team had made a very poor decision while others have questioned why Elphicke was allowed to join Labour while MPs like Diane Abbott still have the Labour whip suspended. 

Her hard-right views have worried cabinet members, with another telling the Guardian, “are we welcoming Nigel Farage next week?”

Labour MP for Birkenhead, Mick Whitley wrote on X: “Natalie Elphicke’s values are not the values of the labour movement.

“It’s outrageous that she should be allowed to join the Labour benches while principled socialists like @HackneyAbbott and @jeremycorbyn still haven’t had the whip restored.”

A snapshot of her voting record on the website They Work For You says Elphicke consistently voted against laws to promote equality and human rights, voted against measures to prevent climate change, voted against higher taxes on banks and was found to generally have voted against fewer obstacles for access to abortion.

Her record on trade unions also left much to be desired, having voted consistently for more restrictive regulations on trade union activity with critics online sharing a video of her at a debate on P&O Ferries sacking nearly 800 workers, during which she attacked trade unions as she talked of “odious hard left militants”.  

Also highlighted online was the time in 2021, when she suggested Marcus Rashford missed a penalty because he spent too much time “playing politics”. The footballer was campaigning for free school meals which subsequently forced former Prime Minister Boris Johnson to U-turn on the issue.

Others have re-surfaced the story that she defended her ex-husband after he had been convicted of sexual assault, casting doubt on his victims’ testimonies. She took over his seat as Dover’s MP in 2019 after he was jailed for two years. 

Articles she wrote have also been re-circulated, including one for the Daily Mail titled ‘When will The Left admit this is no refugee crisis… but simply illegal immigration’ and another for the Express, ‘Don’t trust Labour on immigration they really want open borders’.

Elphicke endorsed Liz Truss and Boris Johnson and previously called Keir Starmer ” Sir softie” over Labour’s border control plans. She has repeatedly criticised Labour for being soft on migration and untrustworthy on Brexit, which she supported.

In her defection statement Elphicke said the Labour Party “has changed out of all recognition” and now occupies the “centre ground of British politics”, as she now felt Labour was the party “building a Britain of hope, optimism, opportunity and fairness”.

(Image credit: David Woolfall / UK Parliament)

Hannah Davenport is news reporter at Left Foot Forward

Comments are closed.