Independent Group Change UK Becomes Political Party

16 April 2019, 15:24 | Updated: 16 April 2019, 15:48

The Independent Group will now be known as Change UK
The Independent Group will now be known as Change UK. Picture: PA

Change UK has now been formally registered as a political party, allowing the group of former Conservative and Labour MPs to field candidates for the upcoming European elections.

The move was approved by the Electoral Commission, and the group will now use the full name ‘Change UK – The Independent Group’. The party is understood to be running on a pro-EU, second referendum stance.

But it wasn't all good news for the breakaway MPs, the election watchdog rejected their planned ballot paper logo - and the group will now have a blank square next to their name.

The party were hoping to use a black square with the initials TIG and the hashtag "#Change".

Electoral Commission has banned from using the logo on ballot papers because it contained a hashtag, which effectively links to online content and was "likely to mislead" voters as their acronym was not “sufficiently well known.”

The party say they have had over of 3,700 applications from people across the United Kingdom wanting to stand as candidates at the European Elections.

Two Conservative MEPs, Julie Girling and Richard Ashworth, have said they were joining Change UK and hope to stand as candidates in the European elections.

Ms Girling said she was "fully committed to a People's Vote on Brexit" and was "looking forward to being able to use my extensive experience as part of the Change UK team".

They also claim they will run for all 70 MEP seats.

Interim Leader Heidi Allen MP, said: “This is a fight for Britain’s voice in Europe – and we have been overwhelmed by the thousands of people wanting to roll up their sleeves and join our campaign from every walk of life and every corner of the country.

“Change UK – The Independent Group have a clear message in the European elections: we demand a People’s Vote and, if it is held, all our MPs will campaign to remain in and reform the European Union".