ChUK MPs will meet tomorrow to discuss the future of their fledgling party. Guido understands that five of their eleven MPs think the game is up and will push to disband the party, with some even wanting to move to join the Lib Dems, just a week after their humiliating defeat at the European Elections, where they failed to get even one MP elected.
Guido hears that MPs like Heidi Allen and Chuka Umunna are angry at what they saw as an Anna Soubry-Chris Leslie nexus seizing control of Change UK, with both of their spouses being appointed to key internal positions. They were also behind the, in hindsight, disastrous decision to not seek a pact with other Remain parties. Heidi is apparently ready to jump ship to the Lib Dems, who now control her local council…
The MPs who are rumoured to be staying put with ChUK or some variant of The Independent Group are Anna Soubry and Chris Leslie, who have been running the show, and Mike Gapes, whose fierce pro-nuclear position could not countenance joining the anti-Trident Liberal Democrats.
Meanwhile Heidi has been in discussions with Dominic Grieve, who is facing a strong deselection challenge in his Beaconsfield constituency. It is unclear if the ChUKs will move tomorrow after their meeting,the course will be set… Will Chuka try for LibDem leader?