Splits erupt in Change UK as Anna Soubry attacks Heidi Allen's tactical voting call

Posted On: 
27th May 2019

Deep splits with Change UK have burst into the open after Anna Soubry criticised party leader Heidi Allen's "bizarre" idea that people should vote tactically for the Lib Dems in some parts of the UK.

Heidi Allen and Anna Soubry when The Independent Group launched in February.
Credit: 
PA Images

Ms Allen admitted last week that she had considered quitting when her plan to maximise the pro-Remain vote in the European elections was condemned internally.

She told Channel 4 News: "I respect the views of my fellow group members and the majority was that they didn’t want to go that way, but it is something that still troubles me. I have no doubt that the British public will look at the tactical voting websites out there and make their own decisions."

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But speaking on Radio Four's Today programme, Ms Soubry said: "I think it is rather bizarre for an interim leader on the eve of poll to tell people essentially not to vote for their party.

"So let’s move on from that because it was bizarre in any standards."

The former Tory MP, who quit her old party along with Ms Allen and Sarah Wollaston to set up Change UK with former Labour backbenchers, added: "You do not stand candidates and then say to people ‘we are going through a complete farce please don’t vote for them'

"Let’s engage now in big grown up politics."

The Broxtowe MP also hit out at Ms Allen's suggestion that Change UK could form an alliance with the Lib Dems in future.

"These things may well emerge but for goodness sake, this is a long way down the line," she said.

"You have got to have your own policies first of all before you can even go into any form of negotiations with any other party to do pacts."

The row comes in the wake of a disappointing European election for Change UK, who only got 3% of the vote and failed to elect a single MEP.