Broxtowe MP Anna Soubry quits Conservatives to join new Independent Group

Anna Soubry speaking in the House of Commons (Picture: Parliament Live TV)

Broxtowe MP Anna Soubry has resigned from the Conservative Party over the Government’s handling of Brexit.

She has joined the Independent Group formed yesterday by seven Labour MPs, including Nottingham’s East’s Chris Leslie, who quit their own party over Brexit and allegations of anti-semitism within the party.

Ms Soubry joined MPs Heidi Allen and Sarah Wollaston in quitting the Conservatives, saying in a joint letter that Brexit had “redefined the Conservative Party – undoing all the efforts to modernise it” and there had been a “shift to the right”.

Prime Minster Theresa May said she was “saddened”, but her party would “always offer… decent, moderate and patriotic politics”.

The resignations take the new Independent Group’s membership in the Commons to 11  MPs – more than the Democratic Unionist Party and the same size as the Liberal Democrats.

In a letter to her constituents, Ms Soubry said: “It is time to realign British politics and get back to the centre moderate ground.”

She added: “Nottingham East MP Chris Leslie said on Monday in his resignation speech, ‘enough is enough’. I agree with him; in the last few years I have come to the firm view that I have more in common with his values and principles than many people in the Conservative Party.”

On Tuesday Mr Leslie faced a call for him to resign as an MP from Nottingham City Council’s Labour leader Jon Collins.

Mr Leslie has already rejected similar calls for him to stand down and trigger a by-election.

On Wednesday all 11 MPs to have resigned from both parties sat together in the Commons during Prime Minister’s questions.

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