1980s Anna Soubry Predicts Change UK

Watch as Anna Soubry performs a psychic act back in her old TV days and exactly predicts the fortunes of her future pro-EU party… Some people never change (UK)…

Anna Soubry’s Chuka Heartbreak

Poor Anna Soubry. She’s lost influence, friends, and will probably lose her seat.

She has poured her heart out to ITV’s Paul Brand “we made some terrible mistakes over leadership and I can tell you now that the problem was was that Chuka wouldn’t step up to it. And if Chuka had stepped up to it he would have been our leader, it was certainly …well I always assumed it was absolutely going to happen. 

Paul Brand: Why do you think he didn’t?
Anna Soubry: You’d have to ask him that but he does have history of not stepping up. Very sad because he… to me he was absolutely the future for our country. I genuinely believe that, I wouldn’t have left my party if I hadn’t believed that.

PB: Were you trying to persuade him to stand as leader?
AS: Good God, yes. Goodness me yes. He should have been our leader and he wasn’t and then after the EU elections which were a terrific blow of course they were you don’t give up at the first hurdle, for God’s sakes.

PB: How did you feel when he joined the Lib Dems?
AS: I think he made a terrible mistake. I was genuinely really sad about that. For me it personally hurt, it really did hurt. I thought he was my big buddy. He was a major part of why I left the Tory party. To start something new with him as the leader, I don’t want to be the bloody leader I genuinely believe that Chuka Umunna should be prime minister of our country and had the – just what we were needing to be a great prime minister. I genuinely believe that. 

PB: Have you spoken to him since he joined the Lib Dems?
AS: Unfortunately, he has never called. He has never called me. Which I think is very sad. 

PB: The friendship’s sort of broken down then?
AS: Very sad. Very sad.
We have exchanged emails but you now, you sort of, well I won’t go into it all but …

Watch her heartbreaking ITV interview in full and hold back your tears…

New Independent Group in Parliament Launches

Just in case things weren’t confusing enough after the Change UK/Independent Group split, a new grouping called The Independents has now launched, including some – but not all – of the rump of the Independent Group. Rather than being a party they say they are structured as a “co-operative” instead. Hopefully they manage to work together more cooperatively than Change UK did

At launch they have five MPs – Independent Groupers Heidi Allen, Luciana Berger, Gavin Shuker and Angela Smith plus former Labour MP John Woodcock, although there’s no sign of Sarah Wollaston. Looks like they won’t be following Chuka to the Lib Dems just yet…

They are making a big feature of their values, rather than political positions, and their independent complaints procedure which Woodcock has already referred himself to in order to resolve the outstanding Labour complaint which Labour deliberately left hanging over him. Can they succeed where TIG/CUK/RA/FC_N failed…?

UPDATE: Even more confusingly, they’re separate from another pet project launched today by Heidi Allen called “Unite to Remain” which will try to get the unruly mass of pro-Remain parties to work together. Or alternatively, try to maintain any sort of media relevance for Heidi herself…

Sour Soubry Sears Chuka

There’s evidently no love lost between former best buddies Anna Soubry and Chuka Umunna after their highly acrimonious Change UK breakup. Soubry’s kicked off the airing of the dirty laundry with a searing attack on her onetime comrade after he declared that he would be a Lib Dem “until the day I die”. Try not to shed a tear… of laughter.

Soubry’s hardly one for keeping promises herself but she’s got Chuka bang to rights here…

Change UK Change Name Yet Again

Change UK have changed their name for a fifth time, having been known as ‘The Independent Group’, then ‘Change UK’, then Change UK – The Independent Group, then adding ‘Remain Alliance’ to their repertoire, and changing their social media name to ‘For Change Now’. After a Change.org threatened legal action, they’re now hoping to be called ‘The Independent Group for Change’. You couldn’t make it up…

More TIG Trouble for ChUK

On Tuesday after the ChUK / TIG split, the Change UK bit of the split – the bit without Chuka – sent an email saying they were “in this long for the haul”. It came from info@theindependent.group, which confusingly is the name of the other bit of the split. Co-conspirators will have read previously that ‘The Independent Group Limited’ is legally controlled by Gavin Shuker, who has left ChUK. Confused? You are not alone.

The Independent Group Limited owns the data, Gavin Shuker legally owns the company. Those who have stayed in ChUK, like Chris Leslie’s wife, Nicola Murphy and Anna Soubry’s other half, Neil Davidson, are the directors of the company. Since the split worried staffers aren’t sure who they work for, legally or actually. The centrists are in complete confusion… we have asked Shuker’s office for clarification, they are getting back to us when they figure it out…

Heidi on Joining Lib Dems: Never Say Never

Heidi Allen tried to water down rumours that she will join the Liberal Democrats last night on Peston, but left the possibility open for herself saying “never say never in this game because there are shifting sands”. Guido’s analysis shows that as a Lib Dem Heidi would hold a decent chance of holding her seat. As for the other TIGs, not so much

TIGs 2.0 – Can They Hang On?

Guido understands that the six ChUKas who left Change UK yesterday are planning to join the Liberal Democrats after a ‘cooling off period’. Here Guido analyses their chance of holding their seats…

Heidi Allen – South Cambridgeshire:

  • Verdict: Hold.
  • Estimated EU Referendum vote: 61% Remain
  • Once Andrew Lansley’s safe Tory seat, it has been trending steadily Lib Demmy as house prices push younger voters out of the neighbouring City of Cambridge. The Lib Dems took over the local council this year, and stormed the area in the European Elections…
  • The only Problem is that the Liberal Democrats have already selected a Parliamentary Candidate for the constituency, a local Councillor called Ian Sollom. He’s been pounding the ground hard and might not be best pleased if Heidi swoops in to steal his plum position…

Chuka Umunna -Streatham:

  • Verdict: Marginal.
  • Estimated EU Referendum vote: 79% Remain
  • Until the 1980s, Streatham was a safe Tory seat, but then London happened and Labour have held it ever since. In 2018 the Labour Party swept the board in Streatham’s council seats, although with strong challenges from the Greens and the Lib Dems in some wards. But in last month’s European Elections the Lib Dems enjoyed a more than 10% lead over Labour. It’s Remainer Central but Chuka has become a Momentum Hate Figure and they’ll throw everythign at it to dislodge him…

Gavin Shuker – Luton South:

  • Verdict: Loss.
  • Estimated EU Referendum vote: 55% Leave
  • Surprisingly, the constituency was one of the few places Labour is projected to have won in the 2019 European Elections. The chance of a Lib Dem winning here is very low…

Luciana Berger – Liverpool Wavertree

  • Verdict: Not a hope.
  • Estimated EU Referendum vote: 65% Remain
  • Labour won three times the Lib Dem vote, and ten times the Change UK vote share at the European Elections, despite the seat having voted to remain by almost two thirds. It’s the heart of the metropolitan North West. Anyone without a Labour Rosette is set to be wiped out…

Angela Smith – Penistone and Stocksbridge:

  • Verdict: Bad loss.
  • Estimated EU Referendum vote: 60% Leave.
  • Labour came just 1,000 votes away from losing her seat to the Tories in 2017, with the Lib Dems in last place. In the European Elections, the Brexit Party won double the (second and third place) Lib Dem and Green votes put together. Labour, the Tories, and ChUK were fourth, fifth and sixth respectively. Brexitland.

Sarah Wollaston – Totnes

  • Verdict: Loss.
  • Estimated EU Referendum vote: 54% Leave
  • Totness isn’t the heart of Brexitland but it the seat did voted to leave by a bigger margin than the country. The Brexit Party smashed it here at the European Elections, achieving double the vote of the 2nd place Lib Dems. It’s been Tory continuously since 1924 and demographics favour the Brexit backing parties. It would take an unprecedented Lib Dem surge, well about the high teen-low twenties for Sarah Wollaston, Liberal Democrat to hold her seat.

Even if they change their stripes to yellow the TIGgers are an endangered species…

Chuka Chucks ChUK

As Guido reported yesterday, six MPs will return to being The Independent Group, the other five plan to continue as Change UK. The splitters have split…

Confusingly Chuka will not be in ChUK, he will be a TIGger. If he wants to lead the LibDems he has until Friday to join

UPDATE: Source says Chuka will have a “cool down” transition period before he joins the LibDems.

UPDATE II: Change UK have confirmed that Chuka Umunna, Luciana Berger, Angela Smith, Heidi Allen, Gavin Shuker, and Sarah Wollaston have all left the party. With Heidi out, Soubry is now the much diminished Change UK’s new leader..

The departing MPs have released a statement confirming their departure from the party and stretting that their “priority right now must be to provide collegiate leadership to bring people together.” Guido hopes they have better luck bringing each other together than they have with now split did at Change UK…

Read the departing MPs’ statement in full:

Continue reading

ChUK MPs Break Up Meeting Tomorrow

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?

Remainers Overwhelmingly Outspent Leavers on Facebook

Guido reported during the campaign, Change UK were massively outstripping the spending of other parties on Facebook throughout the election. By the last week of the campaign, the Lib Dems caught up with Change UK, followed by the Greens, Labour, then the Tories. In that crucial week, of the parties in England that won seats, the Brexit Party spent the least and won the most…

Tories Open Selections for Candidates to Replace TIG Defectors

Any possible routes, however unlikely, for the TIGger defectors to make shock returns to the Tories from their floundering party will soon be closed off: the Tories have just opened new candidate selections for all of their seats. CCHQ emailed the Tory candidates’ list calling for applications for nine seats including Broxtowe (Anna Soubry), South Cambridgeshire (Heidi Allen) and Totnes (Sarah Wollaston). Bye!

Grantham and Stanford is also being opened for applications, Nick Boles had already announced that he wouldn’t be contesting the seat again but there will still be many Tories sad to see him go. Candidates have until Monday 17th June to apply if they want to be the heir to Heidi…

Change UK Massively Outspend Every Other Party on Facebook

Facebook’s ad library has revealed that Change UK have spent £88,000 over the course of the last week on almost 500 micro-targeted ad campaigns. That’s four times the spend of the Brexit Party, who have only posted 70 ad campaigns. The Brexit Party have spent less than Change UK, the Lib Dems, and the Labour Party. Probably a good idea to proof read those adverts, this one looks like the Tiggers are campaigning against the SNP…


On top of that the European Parliament has spent £70,000. One for the data conspiracy theorists…

Hat-tip: Rowland Manthorpe

UPDATE: Despite being massively outspent, the Brexit Party has outstripped every other party on Facebook engagement

Change UK Leader Won’t Commit to Being Change UK Candidate at Next Election

Just two days after Change UK’s star MEP candidate Rachel Johnson called her party a “sinking ship”, interim leader Heidi Allen couldn’t even confirm that she would be standing for Change UK at the next election on Today. The only thing she’s sure about is that she’s not rejoining the Tories.[…] Read the rest


Chuka Changes Tack: ‘We Are Going To Need To Revoke Article 50’

Seeminly Chuka read this piece on Sky, panicked, and changed tack over the course of the last couple of days in a desperate move for Change UK to become relevant. He told Sky’s Lewis Goodall  that he was against outright revocation just three days ago…

“Had one of the Remain forces campaigned for revoke, then a People’s Vote might seem more palatable.

[…] Read the rest


ChUKs Blocked in Parliament

Go to voteforchange.uk from your desk in the Palace of Westminster and this is what you see. The ChUKs are literally blocked from parliament…[…] Read the rest


Second Scottish ChUK MEP Candidate Quits

David Macdonald, who according to the ChUK website tops the list in Scotland for ChUK, has quit. He only topped the list because Joseph Russo stood down after Guido revealed embarrassing tweets. Unconfirmed reports suggest Macdonald is  joining the LibDems.[…] Read the rest


ChUKs Infighting Kicks Off Blame Game

The obituaries are being written, perhaps prematurely, for the Tiggers before they have even fought their first election. Guido’s hears that ChUK’s infighting is getting worse as their polling flat-lines. Chris Leslie and his wife Nicola Murphy are copping a lot of the flak.[…] Read the rest


Brexit Party a Strong Second in London

A poll of Londoners by YouGov for Queen Mary University of London shows the Brexit Party coming a strong second in London, just four points behind Labour and delivering them the same number of seats. This projection gives Labour, Brexit and the Lib Dems two seats each, with one seat a piece for the Greens and Tories.[…] Read the rest


Now Lib Dem-Supporting Change UK MEP Claims She Never Joined Change UK

The plot thickens over former Tory MEP Julie Girling, who caused a stir earlier today by endorsing the Lib Dems, despite supposedly being a Change UK MEP herself. Girling now claims that:

“I was not and am not a Change UK MEP.

[…] Read the rest


Seen Elsewhere