A LABOUR MP has been booted out of the parliamentary party following claims he made racist remarks in the House of Commons bar.
Neil Coyle, the MP for Bermondsey and Old Southwark, was last night accused by British-Chinese journalist Henry Dyer of making slurs.
Mr Dyer said Mr Coyle compared him to the suspected Chinese spy who had been helping fund fellow Labour MP Barry Gardiner’s office.
In a statement the Business Insider journalist, 24, accused Mr Coyle of Sinophobia and reported him to Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle, who suspended him from Parliament’s boozers.
And this morning Labour reacted by stripping Mr Coyle of the party whip pending an investigation, meaning he is now an independent MP.
Mr Coyle said he was “very sorry for my insensitive comments” and is cooperating with the probe.
The racism row was sparked on the night of Feb 1 in the Strangers’ Bar where MPs and journalists are allowed to drink.
Mr Dyer said he was speaking with Mr Coyle and a group of other reporters about the recent revelations surrounding Mr Gardiner.
He said: “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’s [office] money, and so there was no need to refer to a 20th Century trope of a Chinese supervillain.
After revealing that he was British-Chinese, Mr Coyle allegedly responded: “From how you look like you’ve been giving renminbi [the Chinese currency] to Barry Gardiner.”
Mr Dyer said his remarks were “not just inappropriate but made me feel uncomfortable”.
He also claimed Mr Coyle stuck two fingers up at him, and was involved in a separate outburst the previous night.
Upon publishing his statement last night Mr Dyer received an outpouring of support from journalists and politicians.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Takes courage. Thank you for speaking out. Wishing you all the best.”
A Labour spokesman said: “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.”
Mr Coyle said: “I’m very sorry for my insensitive comments, have apologised to everyone involved and will be cooperating fully with the investigation.”