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Party of splitters, splits

Change UK Split

Six members of the Independent Group have independently become even more independent by leaving the other five and will now stand independently as independent MPs.  

The Independent Group, which rebranded as Change UK ahead of the European Parliamentary elections, was formed earlier this year by MPs defecting from the Labour and Conservative parties. 

Change UK’s eleven founding MPs stated reasons as diverse as needing a passport and not getting a Valentine’s card from Jeremy Corbyn for leaving their political homes to move into the Westminster equivalent of a bedsit above Nando’s.

Following a ten-minute press conference in March, the Independent Group all but disappeared from view, leading some pundits to predict this split is the first step toward several former members being invited to appear on Question Time this week.

John Fishlove, one of the five people that voted for Change UK, says he’ll still support the party following the split.

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“Look, they’re all about being different from the big traditional parties,” he said.

“So ask yourself this, which other party can get all their MPs in an Uber?”

Anna Soubry inherits the role of leader from Heidi Allen who, along with Chuka Umunna, Sarah Wollaston, Angela Smith, Luciana Berger and Gavin Shuker, will be hoping to get a call from the Andrew Marr show this Sunday. 

Ms Soubry, who walked away from the Conservative party in March, said she was disappointed the split had come “at such a crucial time in politics,” and without any hint of irony told the BBC:

“Now is not the time to walk away, but instead to roll up our sleeves and stand up for the sensible mainstream centre ground which is underrepresented in British Politics today.”

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