Anna Soubry hails Independent Group as the modern face of politicsFebruary 20, 2019
‘Two thirds of us are women – that says a lot’: Anna Soubry hails Independent Group as the modern face of politics as defectors vow to break two party system
- Three ex-Tory women ensured Independent Group was majority female today
- On the ex-Labour side four men and four women have defected to the group
- It unprecedented for a front line parliamentary force to be majority female
Anna Soubry hailed the new Independent Group as the modern face of politics today after the three Tory defectors ensured it was majority female.
On Monday three of the ex-Labour group were women – Luciana Berger, Ann Coffey and Angela Smith – and there were joined last night by Joan Ryan.
It means seven of the 11 MPs to have abandoned their parties for the new centrist push are female – an unprecedented 63 per cent in a front line parliamentary force.
At the press conference to announce her defection and those of Heidi Allen and Sarah Wollaston, Ms Soubry said: ‘That says a lot’.
Anna Soubry (right) hailed the new Independent Group as the modern face of politics today after the three Tory defectors ensured it was majority female
On Monday three of the ex-Labour group were women – Luciana Berger (back row second left), Ann Coffey (back row second right) and Angela Smith (back row centre) – and there were joined last night by Joan Ryan (right).
The Conservatives have twice been led by a woman but never had a majority female Cabinet – while Labour has never had a permanent woman leader.
The seven female members of the Independent Group posed alone today as well as alongside their male colleagues.
The Independent Group has said it hopes to be a full-blown political party within months – able to stand candidates and raise money.
The three ex-Tories today said they hoped going over the top would persuade colleagues to follow.
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Ms Soubry said both main parties were ‘broken’ and said: ‘I’m hoping that this will really concentrate some minds of colleagues in the Conservative Party that we know share our concerns and also share our values and our principles, and are very unhappy about the direction of travel.
‘I also hope it gives courage to members of the government who are deeply concerned about this no deal becoming a real possibility.
‘It will give them the courage next week to do what, frankly, some of them should have done a long time ago and be true to what they believe, and if they need to leave government and vote against the party line on Brexit, they have got to do it.’
It means seven of the 11 MPs to have abandoned their parties for the new centrist push are female – an unprecedented 63 per cent in a front line parliamentary force
Ms Allen said there was a ‘significant number’ of MPs from different parties who were now interested in coming over to join the group.
‘Are there a number of colleagues in all parties who are keen to join us? Absolutely. But everybody has to get there in their own time,’ she said.
Dr Wollaston urged ministers who were opposed to a no-deal Brexit to stand by their principles and resign rather then let it happen.
‘What I would hope is that ministers would have the courage of their convictions to actually step down from their posts,’ she said.
‘We do expect people to really stand up for what they know is right for this country and not to allow no-deal to go ahead.’
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