It transpires it wasn’t only Jesus who used Easter to come back from the dead, as Mike Gapes tells Times readers today that the “Story of the Independent Group is far from over.” Most worryingly of all for Keir Starmer’s attempted rebrand of the party, Gapes finishing the op-ed by threatening a return to his former party, once his five-year ban comes to an end:
“I welcome what Starmer has done so far, but it is too early to say whether I could re-join the party. I stood against Corbyn’s Labour at an election, so I am excluded for five-years, unless there is a special dispensation for those who left and campaigned against Labour antisemitism.
I will certainly not apply to re-join the Labour Party unless I’m welcome, and I have had no indication of that yet.”
Don’t get your hopes up, Mike.
The purpose of the article is to alert the public to a new book by him and four fellow members of the Independent Group: Ann Coffey, Anna Soubry, Chris Leslie and Joan Ryan (the few that didn’t jump ship to the LibDems in fruitless attempts to hold onto their seats). Gapes promises their book – which, in keeping with their party’s launch, doesn’t appear to have a name yet – will be the “highs and lows” tale of “as series of unfortunate events”. Guido presumes the “highs” portion can be covered in the forward, before moving onto the substantially more meaty “lows”…
UPDATE 15/04: The book design is as naff as could have been expected