Labour backbencher Neil Coyle has been suspended from the Parliamentary Labour Party after he let his loud mouth get the better of him once again. The latest controversy follows an allegation that he made racist remarks in the presence of a mixed race journalist. Coyle, who represents Bermondsey and Old Southwark, has also been banned from all parliamentary bars following a separate incident in which he is alleged to have screamed obscenities at a Labour staffer and a Tory MP.
Henry Dyer (pictured above right), 24, is of half Chinese descent and reported Coyle to the Speaker following the clash that he says took place at Strangers' Bar in Westminster on Tuesday 1 February. Dyer was with two other journalists when Coyle approached and began discussing various topics including recent revelations regarding Labour MP Barry Gardiner's involvement with a Chinese spy. Coyle is initially accused of saying that Gardiner had been paid by 'Fu Manchu', referencing the 20th century Chinese supervillain. Dyer took umbrage at the remark, pointing out that he was of Chinese descent, to which Coyle is then said to have remarked: "From how you look like, you've been giving renminbi [Chinese currency] to Barry Gardiner".
Coyle is then alleged to have made an obscene two fingered gesture towards Dyer when he left the bar.
Coyle had caused another scene in the same bar the previous evening, having allegedly shouted obscenities at both a Labour staffer and a Tory MP who intervened. He is reported to have shouted 'F*** you! What are the benefits of Brexit?' at the staffer - Coyle is a staunch Remainer - before telling the unnamed Tory MP to 'F*** off and lose some weight'. The Southwark News reports that the staffer had suggested that Brexit had 'not been a disaster for the UK'.
The Speaker has now banned Coyle from all bars on the parliamentary estate for six months. The Labour whip has been suspended pending an investigation into his remarks towards Dyer.
Neil Coyle is renowned for expressing strong opinions and has repeatedly made disparaging remarks about Brexit voters, leading to many deleted tweets and empty apologies. He is very vocal on Twitter and frequently clashes with his own Labour comrades, particularly those on the hard left.