Mike Gapes Threatens to Rejoin Labour Party as Change UK Returns

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

Hat-tip: @LabourDesign
mdi-timer 12 April 2021 @ 09:48 12 Apr 2021 @ 09:48 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Thank You Tiggers, for Saving Britain

Today is the anniversary of the launch of The Independent Group, later Change UK, then Change UK – The Independent Group, then The Independent Group for Change, before splitting off into a group called The Independents and independent MPs. Brexiteers have a lot to thank them for…

  • Firstly, their hard-line position within Parliament helped scupper the indicative votes attempt to bounce the UK into a rule taking position. The customs union option came just three votes away from achieving a majority, meaning TIG’s decision to oppose it prevented Parliament backing a subservient post-Brexit Britain trapped within the customs union. Remain strategy became ‘all or nothing’, and they got nothing…
  • Secondly, without pressure generated by the TIGgers, it is unlikely that Labour would have felt compelled to switch to a pro-second referendum decision. Labour U-turned off the back of the threat of more defections and dire EU election results. In doing so they shifted away from their traditonal voters and helped crumble the Red Wall and perhaps even consign Corbynism to the history books. Time will tell…
  • Thirdly, it was thanks to the five TIG defectors who became Lib Dems that an election was called at all. Without the defector induced momentum Jo Swinson’s party gained, they would not have fallen for in behind Number 10’s strategy of forcing an election to break the deadlock. And the rest was history…

Thank you, TIGgers!

mdi-timer 18 February 2020 @ 14:41 18 Feb 2020 @ 14:41 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
In Memoriam: The MPs Who’ve Already Lost this Election

To be an MP is a privilege; the public vote for you to represent us, you get a comfy wage, cheap wine and a hammock of expenses. So it’s understandable – when our most beloved public representatives lose their seat – SW1 feels like they lose a friend.

Tonight we celebrate the careers and lives of some of our very good friends, who in a few hours we will be certainly able to forget about forever. There will inevitably be others to add to the list soon, but we’ll have to wait to be sure…

  • Chris Leslie, 1997-2019
  • Angela Smith, 2005-2019
  • Mike Gapes, 1992-2019
  • Chris Williamson, 2010-2015, 2017-2019
  • Anna Soubry, 2010-2019

And our special memorial this evening goes to Jared O’Mara – 2017-2019. Gone and forgotten…

Our dearly departed useless public servants…

mdi-timer 12 December 2019 @ 17:05 12 Dec 2019 @ 17:05 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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)…

mdi-timer 1 October 2019 @ 17:36 1 Oct 2019 @ 17:36 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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…

mdi-timer 17 July 2019 @ 11:48 17 Jul 2019 @ 11:48 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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…

mdi-timer 10 July 2019 @ 10:33 10 Jul 2019 @ 10:33 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Previous Page Next Page