Britain is getting a new political party opposed to Brexit.
The Independent Group (TIG), a cross-party bloc of anti-Brexit MPs, has formally applied to be registered as a fully-fledged political party. They will be called Change UK and have appointed the former Conservative MP Heidi Allen as interim leader.
The group was created in mid-February when seven lawmakers broke from the opposition Labour party over its handling of Brexit, the anti-Semitism scandal and Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership. Another Labour MP and three former Conservatives, including Allen, later joined them.
“Today marks a huge step forward on The Independent Group’s journey to becoming a fully-fledged political party,” Allen said in a press release announcing the move.
There had been much speculation over who lead the group. A former Labour MP, Chuka Umunna, had been widely tipped. “There is clearly an appetite for an alternative to our broken politics which needs fundamental change, as shown by the disastrous Brexit process which has occurred under the watch of the two main parties,” Umunna said in the statement.
TIG made the application to UK’s Electoral Commission – the country’s elections regulator – in case it needs to field candidates in European parliamentary elections in May. That scenario would arise if Britain is forced to seek a long extension to the Brexit process – a distinct possibility, if the House of Commons fails to agree Theresa May’s Brexit deal later today.
The Electoral Commission could not say how long it would take to process the application, but it “does take some time,” spokesman Karim Aziz said.
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