Anti-Brexit Change UK party flames out three months after start | Fake News | DW | 04.06.2019
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Anti-Brexit Change UK party flames out three months after start

Tuesday saw the departure of six of its 11 founding members of the pro-European party. The six will now sit in Parliament as independents after Change UK's dismal showing in European elections in May.

Three months after being formed, the anti-Brexit party Change UK announced the departure of six of its 11 parliamentarians Tuesday.

The anti-Brexit party was formed in February by Conservative and Labour lawmakers frustrated by their former parties' stances toward Britain's departure from the European Union.

Dismal election result

Change UK, however, performed dismally in May's EU parliamentary elections, taking just 3% of the vote and failing to win a single seat. Most pro-European voters opted for the Liberal Democrats instead, though they were bested by Nigel Farage's Brexit Party, which dominated the vote.

Read more: European elections expose polarized British public

Among those who bailed on the party on Tuesday were its founder Heidi Allen, and former Labour rising star Chuka Umunna. Sarah Wollaston, a former conservative, and ex-Labour MPs Luciana Berger, Gavin Shuker, and Angela Smith also bailed.

Allen has been replaced as party leader by former Conservative MP Anna Soubry.

Watch video 03:00

Soubry: Brexit deal 'must go back to the British people'

Soubry, who vowed the party would continue to fight against Brexit and for a second referendum, said she was "deeply disappointed" by Tuesday's shake up, adding, "Now is not the time to walk away, but instead to roll up our sleeves and stand up for the sensible mainstream center ground which is unrepresented in British politics today."

Ineffectual independents?

Those leaving the party will now sit as independents in the Parliament. The six released a statement reading, "We know the landscape will continue to shift within the political environment and have concluded that by returning to sit as independents, we will be best placed to work cross-party and respond flexibly," they said.

Watch video 03:02

Brexit Party set to dominate UK

js/amp (AFP, Reuters)

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