Oh those Russians, you may have just ended the Labour party as we know it

Oh those Russians, you may have just ended the Labour party as we know it

Today’s Sunday Times report

Senior Labour MPs appalled by Jeremy Corbyn’s performance over the Salisbury poisoning have been in secret talks with the Liberal Democrats and at least one Conservative MP about forming a new political party called Start Again.

Plans for a new pro-European centre party have been openly discussed as part of cross-party discussions on Brexit, according to sources present.

One of those involved in the plotting — a former member of the shadow cabinet — told The Sunday Times that Corbyn’s refusal to blame Russia for the attack would cause MPs to abandon Labour. “This is a watershed moment,” the MP said. “It has caused a number of people to question why we are in this party.”

Sources say a number of possible names — including the Democrats, Back Together and Regain — have been discussed for a new party to launch after Brexit in the spring of 2019, but Start Again has emerged as the “working title” of the new party

Details of Start Again emerged after reports last week that Chuka Umunna, the former shadow business secretary, recently called Sir Vince Cable, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, to complain that he had “jumped the gun” by publicly revealing that Labour MPs might join forces with the Lib Dems.

Pro-remain MPs and peers, including Umunna and Chris Leslie, the former shadow chancellor, and Wirral South MP Alison McGovern meet every Wednesday to discuss tactics.

Others present include Anna Soubry, the Tory MP for Broxtowe, who told the New Statesman magazine in March last year: “If [a new party] could somehow be the voice of a moderate, sensible, forward-thinking, visionary middle way, with open minds — actually things which I’ve believed in all my life — better get on with it.”

I can’t see this happening, Anna Soubry has already denied any involvement.

Additionally the first past the post voting system really does hinder an entrant/emergent party, whilst many the cite the 1 MP UKIP got in 2015 with 12.6% of the vote the better example might be the 23 MPs the Alliance got with 25.4% of the vote with many defector incumbents.

As Simon Danzcuk can attest to, being the incumbent MP counts for very little when you’re up against an official Labour candidate. More and more people will be regretting voting against adopting AV in 2011.

I suspect we’ll see grumbling from Labour MPs but it appears to be all light and no heat but no substance. Corbyn polling 41% in Great Britain at the last election and currently leading the Tories by 7% with the most accurate pollster at the last election makes in my view any defections from Labour unlikely.



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