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- The Independent Group has registered to become a political party.
- The eleven former Conservative and Labour MPs will name the new party "Change UK – The Independent Group."
- The group launched in February in protest at the state of former party’s stances, including their stance on Brexit.
- TIG is acted now to become a party so it can stand in European Parliament elections which the United Kingdom may have to participate in.
- The UK will have to stand candidates in these elections if there is a lengthy delay to Brexit.
LONDON — The Independent Group has applied to become an official political party.
The recently-formed group of former Conservative and Labour Members of Parliament has registered to become a party so it can stand in European Parliament Elections which the United Kingdom may have to partake in if there is a lengthy delay to Brexit.
The group of anti-Brexit MPs will name their party "Change UK – The Independent Group."
It has appointed former Conservative MP Heidi Allen to be interim leader until it selects a permanent leader at a launch in September.
Speaking on Friday morning, Allen said: "Today marks a huge step forward on The Independent Group’s journey to becoming a fully-fledged political party, so I am delighted to have been chosen as our Interim Leader."
She added: "If we are to deliver on our ambition to change politics for the better, it is vital that we attract support from people from every walk of life, every political background and none.
"Coming into the House of Commons from running my manufacturing business in 2015, I have seen with my own eyes how improved our political system would be if it harnessed the diverse skills and experience of our country.
"We in Change UK, as we hope to be known, don’t just dream about a fairer and better future for our country, we are determined to unleash it through hard work, passion and shared endeavour."
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TIG had originally planned to become a party later in the year but the growing prospect of a lengthy delay to Brexit and the UK having to stand candidates in the European Parliamentary elections has forced it to act sooner.
The Electoral Commission — the UK’s independent body for overseeing elections — had advised the group to submit an application "urgently" in order to stand in the European Elections, which will take place at the end of May.
The UK is likely request a lengthy delay to Brexit which could last up to 12 months if the House of Commons is unable to find a majority for either May’s deal or alternatives currently being considered in the coming weeks.
MPs will on Friday vote on the Withdrawal Agreement which May negotiated with the EU. They have already rejected twice and by huge margins.
The Independent Group of eleven MPs formed in February in protest against the the state of their previous political parties. Its members include former ministers Chuka Umunna and Anna Soubry.
Umunna, the group’s spokesperson, said: "We intend to draw on all the voices of our group in any European election campaign. We will seek to put forward a substantial number of MEP candidates with backgrounds from outside of politics."
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