As time goes on I find myself warming more and more to Kate Hoey MP. Admittedly she was originally imposed upon Vauxhall Labour party, who wanted the admirable Martha Osamor as candidate, but since then Hoey has developed an excellent record at standing up against New Labour.
She rebelled against the government on important votes on the Racial Hatred bill, as well as opposing the illiberal and poorly conceived "anti-terrorism" legislation, as well as opposing ID cards, and being a firm opponent of the Iraq war.
See her voting record. She was also an excellent minister for sport, who really understood the issues, rather than relying on spin and sound-bites.
But what impresses me is that she thinks for herself, and has a consistent record of opposing big government interfering in our private lives: she opposed the ban on smoking in pubs, opposed the ban on fox hunting, and even stood up to the public hysteria after Dunblane and opposed the ban on hand guns.
So I was so so so impressed by her recent response to the Daily Telegraph reporting that she had been seen wearing a Gucci watch and a fake fur coat. “The Gucci was fake: the fur was real” she replied.