Published: Fri, February 22, 2019
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Anna Soubry Tells Chancellor Why She Won't Rejoin The Conservatives

Anna Soubry Tells Chancellor Why She Won't Rejoin The Conservatives

The trio, who have been outspoken in their opposition of Brexit, cited the Government's approach to leaving the European Union as one of the key reasons for their decision to leave the party.

He said there were "clearly a lot of Labour MPs wrestling with their conscience, and Conservatives who are demoralised for the Ukip-isation, if you like, of the party". "There has been a dismal failure to stand up to the hard line ERG which operates openly as a party within a party, with its own leader, whip and policy".

The Tory MPs meanwhile said they were leaving because of a shift to the right by the party, that they blamed in part because of the influence of the European Research Group - a group of pro-Brexit Tory MPs.

"Let's change it", said Chuka Umunna, one of the lawmakers. "The 48% were not only sidelined, they were alienated", the group added.

However, the country deserves better.

"I am saddened by their decision but I am determined that the Conservative Party will survive this".

I learned two fascinating things about the Labour and Tory refuseniks in The Independent Group from my guests on the Peston show on Wednesday - though quite how much of it made it on to the show I am not sure, because we had a hard stop at the end of a jam-packed episode.

Westminster is still fixated on The Independent Group: who will be next to join, could it succeed as a new party, what is its central message.

Corbyn, a supporter of Palestinian rights and critic of the Israeli government, has previously been accused by some of failing to tackle anti-Semitism in the party.

In his concluding remarks, the Opposition leader also said: "Little more than a month to go and this Government has failed to put the country first". "We've agreed that work to find a solution will continue at pace".

The Independent Group of Labour and Tory defectors could prop up Theresa May's government in a confidence and supply arrangement, a leading member has said. But he added that the focus "has to remain on delivering Brexit" and the Conservative party was "a broad church and will remain so". It needs to be a Party where a range of different opinions are held and where healthy debate is encouraged.

I wasn't elected as a Labour MP to watch this happen, and I have no choice but to stand up to it.

James Whale stepped in asking: "What do you think a lot of people didn't feel they were being listened to about?"

Members of the new group have indicated they will resist demands from Labour bigwigs, including John McDonnell, to step down and seek a fresh mandate from voters in a by-election.

"I can no longer represent a Government and a party who can't open their eyes to the suffering endured by the most vulnerable in society, suffering which we have deepened whilst having the power to fix", she said.

Luciana Berger, one of the seven MPs who defected, said Labor has become "institutionally anti-Semitic".

She wrote: "If Jeremy Corbyn wants to fix the party so it can fight the worst Tory government for many decades, he would look at Luciana Berger declaring that, as a Jewish woman, she cannot stay in an institutionally racist party and move every sinew in his body to change it".

"I do not recognise the "purple momentum" referred to in the resignation letter", said Mr Palmer.

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