Political

The Independent Group intends to contest European Parliament elections

It looks like if due to an extension of the Article 50 process that the UK does take part in European Parliament elections then The Independent Group will run candidates, up against the Lib Dems and others, despite the risks involved:

The Independent Group has applied to register as a political party in order to stand candidates in any European elections that come about as a result of a long extension of the Article 50 process.

In order to be able to put forward candidates on regional lists under the system of proportional representation used to elect Members of the European Parliament, any group must be registered as a political party with the Electoral Commission (EC).

The EC has advised that should the UK Government decide to hold these elections polling day will most probably be on Thursday 23 May, with close of nominations for MEP candidates falling on Wednesday 24 April. Those wishing to register a new political party in time to stand candidates have been advised to submit their application “urgently”, though there is no guarantee of registration in time for nominations.

Therefore The Independent Group has this week submitted an application to establish a new political party, ‘Change UK – The Independent Group’. All of The Independent Group MPs will continue to perform their current roles for the group. Heidi Allen, the MP for South Cambridgeshire, has also been appointed to become Interim Leader of the new party for the purposes of EC registration until the election of a permanent leader at an inaugural conference in September, when the main launch of the new party will take place.

However the would-be new name of Change UK – The Independent Group has run into criticism from the long-established campaign group Change.org:

Change.org UK or @UKChange, as we are interchangeably known, is totally independent of party politics, always has been and always will be …

It is said that imitation is a form of flattery. But the movement that we have built in the UK to win campaigns for ordinary people is ours – all 17 million of us. We are seeking guidance on the proposed use of our brand name by those reported to be setting up a new political party.

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