The Independent Group applies to become a political party - and stand in EU elections

The Independent Group of MPs (PA)
The Independent Group of MPs (PA)

The breakaway Independent Group of MPs has formally applied to become a political party.

They have formally have submitted an application to the Electoral Commission to establish Change UK – The Independent Group.

Former Tory MP Heidi Allen has also been appointed interim leader of the party.

The move comes ahead of potential European elections in May this year, depending on what happens regarding Britain’s Brexit deal.

Chuka Umunna and Anna Soubry with Tracey Ullman (PA)
Chuka Umunna and Anna Soubry with Tracey Ullman (PA)

It has also been announced on the same day as MPs vote again on Theresa May’s Withdrawal deal, which, if it does not pass, could mean Britain taking part in European elections later this year, despite voting to leave the EU in 2016.

The Independent Group is made up of pro-EU MPs who quit the Conservative and Labour parties.

Those who joined from Labour also did so in protest over the alleged antisemitism within Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party.

The founders are not only Allen but several prominent MPs including Anna Soubry, Luciana Berger and Chuka Umunna.

‘Today marks a huge step forward on The Independent Group’s journey to becoming a fully-fledged political party, so I am delighted to have been chosen as our Interim Leader,’ said Ms Allen.

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‘If we are to deliver on our ambition to change politics for the better, it is vital that we attract support from people from every walk of life, every political background and none.’

Chuka Umunna is the group’s spokesman and claimed the new party had been ‘overwhelmed by the public support’.

Independent Group MPs Ann Coffey and Luciana Berger(PA)
Independent Group MPs Ann Coffey and Luciana Berger(PA)

‘There is clearly an appetite for an alternative to our broken politics which needs fundamental change, as shown by the disastrous Brexit process which has occurred under the watch of the two main parties,’ he said.

‘A new party will shake up the two-party system and provide people with an alternative that can change our country for the better.’

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