Three Tories ‘pipped to defect’ to The Independent Group over Brexit

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Three Tory Remain MPs are poised to leave and join the new independent grouping in Parliament.

Labour sources said they expected three Conservative MPs to defect to the Independent Group before Mrs May faces PMQs at noon today.


The move would torpedo Tory attacks on Mr Corbyn for losing seven of his MPs amid ongoing anger at his Brexit strategy.

The Mirror understands the three Conservatives tipped to quit are backbench rebel Heidi Allen, former Business Minister Anna Soubry and Commons Health Committee chairwoman Sarah Wollaston.

The three MPs are some of the fiercest critics of the Prime Minister’s Brexit strategy in the Tories and have each faced abuse for their pro-Remain stance.

On Monday seven Labour MPs left the party over Mr Corbyn’s leadership citing his Brexit stance and failure to tackle anti-Semitism.

The MPs have broken away from the Labour Party

They were followed on Tuesday evening by Joan Ryan who accused Jeremy Corbyn of “presiding over a culture of antisemitism and hatred of Israel”.

In his first public appearance since the initial resignations, the Labour chief offered a conciliatory tone, and said: “I recognise that leading the party means you have to take people with you, and I am determined to do that.”

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell dismissed claims 36 Labour MPs had been considering a split, but said: “We need to keep listening, bring people in, talk to them.”

His party is in turmoil after Chuka Umunna, Chris Leslie, Luciana Berger, Angela Smith, Ann Coffey, Gavin Shuker and Mike Gapes quit.

The Independent Group is as yet an informal grouping of MPs who will sit on the opposition benches.

But, it’s understood, there are plans to turn it into a proper political party by the end of the year.

One Shadow Minister said up to 30 more MPs could walk from the Labour Party.

He said most of the seven would seek new seats in Remain-supporting constituencies if they went for re-election.

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