New centrist party spooks Labour
PUBLISHED: 10:35 08 April 2018
PA Wire/PA Images
Plans for a new political party have been met with ridicule by Labour front benchers.
Become a Supporter
The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism
The Observer revealed the plans for a new centrist movement which is said to have secured £50m of backing spearheaded by entrepreneur Simon Franks.
The party - as yet unnamed and without any political backers –would draw policies from both the left and the right in a clear bid to tempt voters who backed the Tony Blair-era Labour party.
However the plans for a centrist challenger party were dismissed by the shadow chancellor and two of his frontbench colleagues.
John McDonnell led a string of Labour MPs to pour scorn on reported plans for a new political party said to have been under secret development for more than a year.
Mr McDonnell tweeted: “That’s a novel idea. A party of the rich, by the rich, for the rich. A party for the few not the many.”
Shadow health and social care secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: “For goodness sake, what a daft waste of time. Anyone putting money into this nonsense would be better off investing in our campaign to restore and rebuild our NHS.”
Jon Trickett, the shadow Cabinet Office minister, tweeted: “A new political party with £50m in the kitty, no members, no rule book, no ideology. Perhaps with support from sections of the British Establishment. A plaything for the rich?
“Let’s focus on the task in hand: building a social movement which will change our country for good.”
Their sentiments were echoed by Colne Valley MP Thelma Walker, who said it was “just what our country doesn’t need”, while Manchester Central MP Lucy Powell tweeted: “Sounds like a bad idea, over-hyped.”
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.Become a supporter