Tue, 15 June 2021

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The House Live All
By Georgina Bailey, Eleanor Langford and Kate Proctor
Press releases

The Independent Group for Change to shut down after losing all its MPs at election

The Independent Group for Change to shut down after losing all its MPs at election
2 min read

The Independent Group for Change is shutting down less than a year after it was created after losing all its MPs at the General Election.

In a letter to members its leader Anna Soubry confirmed the decision to wind up the party, initially formed as Change UK, on Thursday.

She wrote: “From the outset we hoped more Labour and Conservative MPs would share our courage and leave their respective political parties. 

“Sadly this was not to be. After the EU Elections our fortunes were further depleted when some of our original MPs decided on a different route.”

Ms Soubry added “it became harder for us to cut through as a distinctive political force in our own right” and that change in British politics “will have to take place in a different way”.

The party was founded in February 2019 by seven Labour MPs who left the party over issues of anti-semitism and the rise of hard left policies.

Aimed at being a new centrist party, the group's founding members included Luciana Berger, Ann Coffey, Mike Gapes, Chris Leslie, Gavin Shuker, Angela Smith and Chuka Umunna.

Three Conservative MPs - Sarah Wollaston, Heidi Allen, and Anna Soubry - also left their party to join the group.

But it was plagued with issues, being forced into a name change before six of its MPs, including four of the original group, left to join other parties.

Only three MPs stood for The Independent Group in the 2019 general election, none of whom won their seat.

Reflecting on the party’s record, Ms Soubry said: “We remain hopeful and positive about the case for a future realignment in British politics and would urge you to continue to be active in advocating our values for the longer term.”


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