Independent group could keep Theresa May in No 10 in return for a People’s Vote

The Independent Group's recruits from both the Tories and Labour. Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

The Independent Group's recruits from both the Tories and Labour. Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire. - Credit: PA

Theresa May could be propped up by the Independent Group if she agrees to a second Brexit referendum, a former Labour MP has claimed.

Former Labour MP Gavin Shuker said if May agreed to a public vote on the Withdrawal Agreement it would be in the national interest to make sure there was a 'period of stability' to allow that to happen.

Shuker said he had made a similar offer while he was still in the Labour Party before he split from Jeremy Corbyn's party.

He suggested a confidence and supply agreement would be conditional on support for a referendum along the lines of the compromise plan set out by Labour backbencher Peter Kyle, which would see MPs back the Withdrawal Agreement but the public then be given the final say.

The Luton South MP told HuffPost UK's Commons People podcast: 'We need a general election like a hole in the head right now, we're 900 hours to Brexit and we're going to crash out without a deal unless something replaces that.

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'I think the most sensible way forward is for the government to adopt what's become known as the Kyle amendment because it would do exactly what I said before there.

'And in those circumstances I think the national interest would be served by seeing a period of stability to get that referendum done.'

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Meanwhile Theresa May appeared to step up efforts to prevent further defections from the Tory ranks by meeting two prominent Conservative supporters of a second referendum.

Her invitation to Phillip Lee and Justine Greening followed warnings the party was 'destroying itself'.

Dr Lee was also in Downing Street to lobby the PM about the Right to Vote campaign - which he chairs - and its call for a pause in the Brexit process to allow a public vote.

The Bracknell MP quit the government over Brexit and has been the subject of speculation about his future.

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