20 Feb 2019

Three Tories defect with Labour Mps but how do they find their own middle ground?

At PMQs nobody dared mention the splinter group formed from Labour and Tory MPs only moments earlier. It was like everybody pretending they didn’t hear the vicar’s fart at afternoon tea.

The indelicacy of 3 Tories crossing the floor to sit with 8 Labour splitters was too unseemly to discuss.

And though they sat together in a perch at the back of the opposition benches, the new grouping didn’t seek to ask a question of the Prime Minister.

For all the polling and scenario gaming that these people and others have been chewing over for some time they have jumped without a plan. There is no real agreement on what comes next and no real agreed policy areas beyond opposing Brexit.

I asked Anna Soubry about Osborne economics and she said she thought they were just the ticket and she was proud to have served in the Cameron government. That will be a tough listen for some Labour MPs who are considering jumping towards the Independent Group themselves.

Spurred on by anger at the treatment of Luciana Berger and by their own constituency battles, some Labour MPs kicked off this project earlier than many would’ve liked. Prominent sympathisers complain that it has been a ridiculous distraction at a time when pro-Second Referendum forces should’ve been focusing all their fire on the government’s Brexit policy. Instead, the birth of the new political grouping has given 3 days of distractions when we are 37 days from the date of Brexit.

Tweets by @garygibbonblog