Neil Coyle: Labour MP has whip restored after alleged racist comments to journalist

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MP Neil Coyle faced allegations he made racist comments while speaking to reporter Henry Dyer

A Labour MP has had the party whip restored - more than a year after he was accused of making racist comments to a journalist in a drunken row on the Parliamentary estate.

Neil Coyle, who represents Bermondsey and Old Southwark, was accused of using offensive language in conversation with a reporter at Strangers’ Bar, who said it caused him to feel “uncomfortable in my place of work”.

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Henry Dyer, who now works for The Guardian, said he reported the alleged comments to the Commons Speaker, who suspended Mr Coyle from the bars on the estate pending an investigation.

Labour MP Neil Coyle who has had the whip suspended following allegations he made racist comments to a journalistLabour MP Neil Coyle who has had the whip suspended following allegations he made racist comments to a journalist
Labour MP Neil Coyle who has had the whip suspended following allegations he made racist comments to a journalist | PA

What happened?

In Febuary 2022, Dyer - who’s British-Chinese - accused the MP of making Sinophobic remarks, which he said made him feel uncomfortable.

Mr Dyer claimed he also witnessed Coyle “angrily shouting at a Labour staffer” in the bar the previous evening.

Coyle apologised for the alleged comments, describing them as “insensitive”, and promised to co-operate “fully” with an inquiry into his conduct.

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What has Labour said?

At the time, a Labour spokesperson said: “The Labour Party expects the highest standards of behaviour from all our MPs and we take allegations of this sort very seriously.

Today (May 24), the opposition chief whip Alan Campbell told Labour’s parliamentary committee that Coyle had made efforts to address his problematic drinks since the incident.

Campbell added that the MP’s conduct would be “closely monitored” for the foreseeable future.

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