Three Conservative MPs have written a letter to the Prime Minister resigning from the Tory party.
The MPs, Heidi Allen, Anna Soubry (above) and Sarah Wollaston, will now serve as independent MPs – but have signalled their intent to join the eight other MPs as part of the new ‘Independent Group’.
Writing in the joint letter, the group said: “The Conservative party has increasingly abandoned [their]principles and values with a shift to the right of British Politics. We no longer feel we can remain in the Party of a Government whose policies and priorities are so firmly in the grip of the ERG and DUP.
“This shift to the right has been exacerbated by blatant entryism. Not only has this been tolerated, it has been actively welcomed in some quarters.”
Sharing the statement on Twitter, Anna Soubry writes: “It is with a heavy heart I have today resigned from the Conservative Party.”
The three former Conservative MPs now join eight former Labour MPs in ‘The Independent Group’, a new group of independent MPs which may form a political party in the near future.
Seven Labour MPs resigned on Monday, including Chuka Umunna and Luciana Berger, with Labour MP Joan Ryan – the chairwoman of Labour Friends of Israel – resigning from the party yesterday evening.
Prime Minister Theresa May released an official statement following the resignations, saying: “I am saddened by this decision – these are people who have given dedicated service to our party over many years, and I thank them for it.
“The UK’s membership of the EU has been a source of disagreement both in our party and our country for a long time. Ending that membership after four decades was never going to be easy.
“I am determined that under my leadership the Conservative party will always offer the decent, moderate and patriotic politics that the people of this country deserve.”
The Independent Group now has more MPs than the DUP, who have 10, and join the Liberal Democrats on 11 MPs.
With just 37 days until the UK is set to leave the European Union, the likelihood of further MPs resigning their party whips to join The Independent Group grows.