On the day when the UK was supposed to be leaving the EU, a group of MPs, formerly from both Liberal and Conservative (Tory) parties, have broken away and formed a new party.
The Independent Group (TIG), currently made up of 8 former Labour and 3 ex-Tory MPs, has announced that it has applied to register as a political party under the name “Change UK (CUK)’’.
The group has named Heidi Allen (a former Conservative MP) as its interim leader. All 11 MPs in the group have indicated that they are in favor of a second Brexit referendum.
The UK is not supposed to be participating in the upcoming EU elections in May, since it is supposed to leave the EU.
However, it is possible that in the absence of an agreed deal with the bloc, Britain’s pro-remain MPs will somehow make a ‘No Deal Brexit’ before the deadline of April 12th to either ‘’indicate a way forward,’’ as EU leaders put it, or ‘’crash out without a deal’’.
Allen, in an interview with the BBC said that the upcoming EU elections would be a “weathervane moment for the country” and a “proxy for another referendum”.
“It is real opportunity,” she continued, “The country is crying out for someone to lead and say we can just stay.”
Nevertheless, she has stated that the new party will face stark challenges ahead
“This is David and Goliath stuff. We are literally just starting out and building a party together,” she added.
She claims that there was no squabbling over her appointment as interim leader and it felt like a “nice fit” for her to take the role alongside former Labour MP Chuka Umunna, who is acting as the group’s spokesman.
The Labour MPs who quit the party to join the group cited dissatisfaction with both Jeremy Corbyn’s Brexit policy and anti-Semitism allegations made against him. Tory MPs who have defected claim that their former party is being held hostage by hard Brexiters.
According to a recent POLITICO-Hanbury poll, a quarter of voters have indicated that they would consider voting for this party.