Breakaway MPs begin talks about becoming a new party
- Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire
Breakaway MPs from The Independent Group have begun talks with the elections watchdog about becoming a fully-fledged party.
Group spokesman Chuka Umunna led a delegation of the group's MPs for talks with the Electoral Commission, saying that in order to present an alternative to the 'broken political system' they would have to become a party.
He said: 'We left the established parties a few weeks ago now because politics is fundamentally broken and they are part of a broken political system.
'We have been absolutely overwhelmed by the tens of thousands of people who have signed up to our website, who have shown support for what we are doing and want to see an alternative, to build an alternative.
'So we are here at the Electoral Commission to explore with them how we do that.
You may also want to watch:
'We aren't a political party but quite clearly there is an appetite for a new one, so we are here to discuss with them what that involves.'
Umunna was joined by former Labour MPs Gavin Shuker, Ann Coffey and Chris Leslie along with former Tory Heidi Allen at the Electoral Commission headquarters in London.
- 1 Telling the truth is now the only sackable offence
- 2 Boris Johnson: The sado-populist prime minister
- 3 Why Bristol is the street art city
- 4 Has something shifted in sado-populist Britain?
- 5 Brexit stripped me of my Britishness
- 6 What I learned by avoiding England and the Euros
- 7 Cost of Brexit is already 38 times more than the money set aside for levelling up
- 8 A very nearly enchanted evening
- 9 Priti Patel - the poster girl for our poisonous politics
- 10 Empty shelves are partly down to Brexit - but Leavers won't admit it
He said: 'We think people want an alternative. If you want to present an alternative you have to become a party, so we want to find out what that involves.'
The Electoral Commission meeting comes just over a fortnight after Umunna, Coffey, Leslie, Shuker, Luciana Berger, Angela Smith and Mike Gapes resigned from Labour, signalling the biggest shake-up of Westminster politics for a generation.
They were soon followed by former Labour colleague Joan Ryan and ex-Tory recruits Allen, Anna Soubry and Sarah Wollaston.
Registering with the commission would allow TIG to field candidates in elections but would also require it to comply with strict rules on funding.
The group has promised to comply with party funding rules even if it does not formally register with the watchdog.
Become a Supporter
The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.