Change UK Splits Up: Six MPs Leave Independent Group

4 June 2019, 16:40 | Updated: 4 June 2019, 17:26

Heidi Allen at the launch of Change UK's election campaign
Heidi Allen at the launch of Change UK's election campaign. Picture: Getty

Six of the 11 MPs in Change UK have split from the group after failing to elect a single MEP in the European elections.

Former Conservative MP Anna Soubry has been announced as the party's new leader, as Heidi Allen, Chuka Umunna, Sarah Wollaston, Angela Smith, Luciana Berger and Gavin Shuker left the group.

The six said they would be "returning to supporting each other as an independent grouping of MPs".

The Independent Group formed when members from both the Labour Party and Conservatives quit over the handling of anti-Semitism and Brexit policy in February.

It then became an official political party in April, and ran in the European Elections where it failed to elect a candidate to the European Parliament.

In a statement, the group said they are "immensely proud" of Change UK candidates and supporters who helped the group make the "unequivocal case for Remain" in the EU elections.

"To all the newly elected MEPs who stood on an unambiguous manifesto to remain, we offer our congratulations and support as we continue fighting together for the UK to remain in the European Union.

"We believe that our priority right now must be to provide collegiate leadership to bring people together in the national interest.

"We know the landscape will continue to shift within the political environment and have concluded that by returning to sit as independents, we will be best placed to work cross party and respond flexibly."