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PMQS amid cross-party defections over Brexit

20 February 2019

Former Labour MP Chuka Umunna (left) walks with Conservatives Heidi Allen (centre) and Anna Soubry (right) following a Brexit meeting.

PM Theresa May has been dealt a severe blow as three pro-EU Conservative MPs have announced their resignations from the party to join forces with eight ex-Labour politicians in the newly-formed "Independent Group".

Anna Soubry, who served Mr Cameron as a health, defence and business minister, warned today the battle for the soul of the Tories had been lost by the "One Nation" wing.

They represent a small fraction of the Conservative Party's 314 parliamentarians, and the new grouping counts for just 11 of the 650 total members of Parliament.

The party expressed concern over creating a code of conduct that could be "used to deny Palestinians, including Palestinian citizens of Israel and their supporters, their rights and freedoms to describe the discrimination and injustices they face in the language they deem appropriate"; however, it adopted the full IHRA definition in full later.

This is interesting, three pro remain Tory MPs have joined the Labour breakaway group, will more follow? We have a lot of very good MPs and councillors.

As the general secretary, Jennie Formby, wrote to staff reminding them about their responsibility to guard canvassing information, the Independent Group denied the claims.

The Sun and ITV reported that up to three Conservative MPs are considering joining the group in what would be a radical shift in Britain's political landscape.

In the letter, they said the party was "in the grip" of the DUP and the European Research Group over Brexit.

Labour is the main opposition group in the United Kingdom parliament.

When asked whether politics was done for, he said: 'Democracy is not done for.

They added: "The final straw for us has been this Government's disastrous handling of Brexit".

"I hope they recognise that they were elected to Parliament on a manifesto that was based around investment in the future, was based around a more equal and fairer society and based around social justice", he said.

The BBC reported that two Conservative MPs could switch to the new group and other media reported more Labour MPs could split.

"I've been a member for not short of four decades and we never had this problem before".

The raft of departures, including Ryan's resignation, brings the total number of seats held by the main opposition party down to 248.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Ms Phillips said what happened next would depend on whether the party chose "kindness and healthy self-criticism or instead choose to go to war".

"You've embarrassed yourself and embarrassed the Conservative Party", the caller said.

In an indication of the embarrassment heaped on both the Conservatives and the Labour opposition, May completes her weekly question-and-answer session in the House of Commons without a single mention of the defections.

"I guess we now know how their policies and values differ from Labour".

Corbyn's pro-Palestinian policies and denying support to US and British military operations overseas have made him a target of right-wing media and opposition from within his own party.

"If anything the moderates who are leaving would make it hard not just to implement their radical agenda should they take power, but from running a genuine left wing populist campaign where vitriol and conspiracy theories feature prominently". They want to crush the birth of democracy.

PMQS amid cross-party defections over Brexit