'Three Amigos' set out their reasons for walking out on the Tories

Written by David Singleton on 20 February 2019 in Diary
Diary

Sarah Wollaston, Anna Soubry and Heidi Allen have quit the Tory party

And then there were 11. Sarah Wollaston, Anna Soubry and Heidi Allen thrown their lot in with the former Labour MPs who make up the new Independent Group.

"You've met the Magnificent Seven, you probably heard about the Lone Ranger, so I guess that makes us the Three Amigos," said Allen.

So why have they done it?

At the press conference, Allen said she felt “so excited, in a way I haven’t felt since I was first elected ... I, we are prepared to dare to dream that this could be possible”.

The MP said she had been driven out of the party by both Brexit but and the Tory record on austerity: “I believed I was part of a party that worked collaboratively, welcomed knowledge and had the capacity to feel, but I have slowly realised that I have not.”

And she warned Theresa May that "this is a taste of more to come".

 

 

Anna Soubry made it clear that the prime minister’s approach to Brexit was the key driver.

“You don’t join a political party to fight it … The truth is the battle is over and the other side have won,” she said. 

“Dear friends, now former colleagues, who share those one-nation values and principles will deny it. But I believe in their heads and in their hearts that they know it is over. Brexit now defends and shapes the Conservative party.”

 


Wollaston also focused on Brexit, saying: "The party that was once the most trusted on the economy is now marching us towards the cliff edge of a no-deal."

She said she had reached the conclusion she would no longer recommend that people voted Conservative. “Would I have joined the party in 2009 … if the party had looked then as it did today? And the answer is no,” she said. 

“And if I wouldn’t encourage others to vote Conservative in a general election, then how can I possibly continue with the Conservative whip?”

 

 

The move by Allen, Soubry and Woillaston, which takes the number of Independent Group MPs to 11, came just hours after Joan Ryan joined seven of her former Labour colleagues who quit the party in protest at Jeremy Corbyn's leadership earlier this week to set up the Indpendent Group.


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