Heidi Allen suggests Change UK may not exist at general election

Posted On: 
20th May 2019

Heidi Allen has cast Change UK’s future into doubt by suggesting the party may not exist in its current form by the time the next general election is called.

The former Tory MP would not rule out doing a deal with the Lib Dems.
Credit: 
PA Images

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, the newcomer group’s interim leader signalled that Change UK could morph into something else in the "brand new world" of the next parliamentary race.

The former Tory MP admitted the format of the party - which is struggling to break through in the polls ahead of this week's European elections - could change as she pushes for it to become “more successful”.

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Ms Allen said: “Will I stand again in South Cambridgeshire, in my constituency, as Change UK, in whatever format?

"Let’s hope, depends when next general election comes. If we’ve managed to bring together other MPs from the House of Commons, the format might be slightly different.

“But whatever the 'Brand New World' party looks like, at that point of the General Election in South Cambridgeshire, absolutely.

"I’m not going back to the Conservatives.”

Ms Allen also hinted that a deal with the Lib Dems could still be on the cards as she talked up a “modern world of coalition”.

Her fellow Change UK MP Chris Leslie has previously dismissed talk of an electoral pact, but Ms Allen said: "I see a modern world of coalition where it isn’t just about two big parties, I think the whole way Parliament operates in Westminster needs a damn good shake up and I want to be part of that.”

She added: “I want us to get bigger, I want us to get more successful I want us to have more MPs, more opportunities to change politics in this country.”

The comments came after Lib Dem leader Sir Vince Cable clashed with Change UK’s Chuka Umunna on Sunday over Mr Umunna’s call for pro-EU campaigners to push for revocation of Article 50 instead of a second referendum.

Change UK is currenly lagging behind all the other pro-Remain parties in the polls, with the latest YouGov study handing them just 5% support ahead of the EU elections.

Elsewhere in her Today programme interview, Ms Allen also addressed the difficulties of competing against established parties.

“It’s really, really hard," she said, adding: “We’ve used the phrase David and Goliath, but it truly is on that scale. But the question is do we do nothing? Do we accept the status quo is acceptable?”