Centrist ‘CUK’ Group Becomes Official UK Political Party Ahead of Looming EU Elections

Change UK Photocall Getty
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The group of centrist former Labour and Conservative MPs who walked out on their respective parties earlier this years in protest over Brexit, Labour anti-Semitism and other issues have been officially registered as a political party today ahead of European Parliamentary Elections.

The new party will be officially known as ‘Change UK – The Independent Group’ and former Conservative MP Heidi Allen will be its interim leader, the Electoral Commission have confirmed.

The Change UK party is made up of 11 MPs who defected from Labour and the Conservatives over various issues including anti-semitism issues in the Labour Party and both parties’ handling of Brexit, with the Change UK party being strongly pro-remain.

Over the weekend the group gained more members as two former Tory MPs announced their defections to Change UK, and said they would look to stand in EU elections for the party.

The confirmation of the successful party registration did not go entirely to plan, however, as the Electoral Commission rejected the party’s logo, which consisted of the letters ‘TIG’ and the hashtag ‘#change’. The Commission said that hashtags were not allowed and that the letters TIG were not “sufficiently well known” to voters, so it may cause confusion, reports the BBC.

The logo debacle will mean that the party will be contesting elections with a blank space next to their name as the Electoral Commission said there was not enough time to submit a new logo before elections are due.

The party will be contesting the European Parliamentary elections which will take place in May if the United Kingdom is still in the European Union by then, and have reportedly received 3,700 applications from people wishing to stand as candidates for the party. Change UK will officially launch their European Parliamentary campaign later this month.

The official recognition of the new party comes at the same time as another new party, the Brexit Party, led by former UKIP leader Nigel Farage, celebrated their launch and first official rally this weekend.

The launch of the Brexit Party was held in Coventry on Friday, with a packed out rally following in Birmingham’s ICC on Saturday afternoon. At the rally, Mr Farage said that Britain was a nation of ‘lions led by donkeys’ and that the party was here to change politics in Britain and remove it from the hands of the “career political class”.

The upcoming European elections will be a major test for both of the new parties, who are both expected to win MEP seats. According to the latest polling by Opinium, the Change UK Party is currently polling at 4% while the Brexit Party is polling at 12%. Meanwhile the Conservatives are on 17% compared to Labour’s 29%.

Among leave voters the Conservative Party have fallen to third place behind the Brexit Party and UKIP.


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