Change UK

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The Independent Group for Change[1] (formerly Change UK, Change UK-The Independent Group[2] and before that just The Independent Group, variously abbreviated CUKs/ChUKs/TIG/TIGGERs) was a centrist British political party that, at its peak, was made up of 11 former Labour and Conservative Members of Parliament, later falling to 5 MPs and then to no MPs. Their leader is former Conservative Member of Parliament Anna Soubry, who replaced former interim leader Heidi Allen in June, 2019, when the latter left the party.[3][4] On 19 December, 2019, the party announced it was formally being dissolved in a letter posted to their website, following all 11 MPs losing their parliament seats in the 2019 General Election.[5]

The build up[edit]

The main player (and former Shadow Business Secretary for Ed Miliband) [6] Chuka Umunna threatened to leave the Labour Party, it was unclear if he was actually serious or if these were just empty threats.[7]


Reactions to these rumors weren't very positive:

  • Momentum reacted.[8]
  • So did Margaret Beckett.[9]
  • So did petitions website, hence the clusterfuck of name changes.[1]

Splits abound[edit]

Divisions in Labour over antisemitism, foreign policy and Brexit got to be too much, leading MPs to resign and form the new Independent Group.[10] The roles they had in the group will be put next to them. [11]

Labour members[edit]

  • Mike Gapes (Military and Foreign Affairs)
  • Luciana Berger (Health, Home Affairs and Technology)
  • Ann Coffey (Education)
  • Funny tinged Angela Smith (Transport, so yes she is the female version of Chris Grayling)
  • Chris Leslie (Treasury and Trade)
  • Chuka Umunna (Spokesperson)
  • Gavin Shuker (Convener)
  • Joan Ryan (Business)[12]

Good start then[edit]

They were described as a 21st century equivalent of 1980s Labour breakaway group The SDP (The Social Democratic Party).[13] Although in fairness to The SDP they didn't come out the gate saying racist shit on live TV, which Angela Smith blamed on "tiredness" (oh boo hoo). [14] [15] Keep in mind that Mike Gapes left Labour because of racism. [16]

More join[edit]

Tories also defected too, bringing the total number to 11. [17]

Conservative members[edit]

  • Sarah Wollaston (Recruiter)
  • Heidi Allen (Interim Leader)
  • And finally Anna Soubry (Brexit Person)


Where the Group stands[edit]

To change our broken politics, we need a different culture. The Independent Group aims to reach across outdated divides and tackle Britain’s problems together.
—The Independent Group[18]

They claim to be ideologically neutral and "pursue policies that are evidence-based". Their statement is less of an outline of their political aims and more of list of nice sounding statements with options for you to "agree" at the side like it's Gotoquiz or Buzzfeed.[19]

These nice sounding statements include:

Ours is a great country of which people are rightly proud.
—The Independent Group
Our free media, the rule of law, and our open, tolerant and respectful democratic society should be cherished and renewed.
—The Independent Group

These are just worthless platitudes instead of defined policy goals.


Basically Labour wanted MPs who left parties to stand in by-elections (basically mini-general elections).[20] Labour even held a rally in Anna Soubry's constituency of Broxtowe as a form of legal intimidation.[21]

Look at that hypocrisy[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Hypocrisy
We believe that our parliamentary democracy in which our elected representatives deliberate, decide and provide leadership, held accountable by their whole electorate is the best system of representing the views of the British people.
—The Independent Group[19]

So despite saying that, they're not going to stand for a by elections because they know they will lose, which every single one of them did.[22]

Too many centrist parties?[edit]

Pre-2019 General Election polling had The Lib Dems doing pretty poor compared to The Independent Group. [23] As you may have noticed if you combine the two together they're equal or beating Labour. Which lead to calls for them to merge. [24] This turned out be a fools' errand as even MPs which later defected to the Liberal Democrats lost all their seats.

In the news[edit]

Lost privileges[edit]

Mike Gapes and non-Independent Group defector Ian Austin were booted from the Foreign Affairs committee in major a blow to the group's influence. [25]

Bad blood[edit]

Jeremy Corbyn apparently walked out of cross-party Brexit meetings with Theresa May because Chuka Umunna was there, in what has been called 'juvenile' by the British media.[26] Jeremy said that this decision was due to 'confusion'. [27] It has been speculated that this move was less 'juvenile' and more of an attempt to starve TIG of any attention in an attempt to make them insignificant.[28]

Anna Soubry's fucky wucky[edit]

The Independent Group decided to become a political party on the 29th of March 2019. [29] Anna Soubry referred to their new party name as "", the actual are now pursuing legal charges. [30]

It is said that imitation is a form of flattery. But the movement that we have built in the UK to win campaigns for ordinary people is ours – all 17 million of us. We are seeking guidance on the proposed use of our brand name by those reported to be setting up a new political party.

Twisting the knife[edit]

Cameronite and ex-Tory Nick Boles resigned the whip after his attempts at cross party compromise in the Brexit indicative votes failed. [31] Here comes Anna Soubry telling Nick how great he is and how there's "always a place for him" in The Independent Group. [32] All of the TIGGERs voted against his proposal which caused him to resign in the first place, the proposal would have won otherwise. No shame. [33]


In June 2019, 6 of its 11 MPs left the party, blaming its terrible performance in the May 2019 European elections, at which the Liberal Democrats captured the pro-European Union vote with 20% of the total votes cast, while Change UK scored 3%. Those quitting included leader Heidi Allen, with ex-Conservative Anna Soubry taking over command of the sinking ship. The departing members are believed likely to join the Lib Dems.[4]

EU Elections and the 2019 General Election[edit]

Change UK barely have more influence than other dead parties like UKIP after only getting 17,000 more votes than them nationally in the 2019 EU Elections. [34] To make them even more pathetic they managed to lose every single one of their MPs in the 2019 General Election. [35] Basically the political party has lost all of its influence and is dead.

The End[edit]

On the 19th of December 2019 Change UK disbanded permanently after its hilariously bad election results. [36][5]

External links[edit]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Change UK applies to change name after legal dispute", BBC News. 13 June 2019.
  2. Independent Group Name Change, 29th of March 2019, Britain Elects Via Twitter. Archived at:
  3. Independent Group Running Rather Than Walking With Interim Leader Heidi Allen29th of March 2019, Via Sky News. Archived at:
  4. 4.0 4.1 Change UK loses six of its 11 MPs after dire EU elections result, The Guardian, 4 June 2019
  5. 5.0 5.1 Soubry, Anna. 19 December 2019. Letter to members from Anna Soubry following our Management Council Meeting. (Archived).
  6. Ed Miliband's Shadow Cabinet 17th of May 2012, Via BBC. Archived at:
  7. Is He leaving? 17th of February 2019, Alex Wickham Via Twitter. Archived at:
  8. Momentum Reaction 14th of February 2019, Via The New European
  9. Margaret Beckett Reaction 17th of February 2019, Via The New European. Archived at:
  10. Labour MPs Quit 18th of February 2019,Via The Guardian.Archived At:
  11. Who's Doing What? 1st of March 2019, Via Archived at:
  12. The Independent Group: Following Via Twitter.Archived at:
  13. SDP Independent Group18th of February 2019, Via The Independent.Archived at:
  14. Angela Smith on Politics Live 18th of February 2019,Claudia Webbe Via Twitter. Archived at:
  15. Angela Smith Blames Racism on Tirdeness 19th of February 2019, Via The Spectator. Archived at:
  16. Mike Gapes Leaves Because of Racism 18th of February 2019, Via LBC.
  17. Tories Join 20th of February 2019,Via The Guardian. Archived at:
  18. Independent Group Website Archived at:
  19. 19.0 19.1 Statement
  20. Corbyn Tells Joan Ryan to Stand 20th of February 2019, Via The Independent.Archived at:
  21. Jeremy Corbyn Broxtowe March 23rd of February 2019, Via Twitter. Archived at:
  22. Refuse By Elections20th of February 2019,Via The Daily Mirror
  23. Britain Elects Polling 25th of February 2019, Via Twitter. Archived at:
  24. Lib Dem Merge? 26th of February 2019,Via The Guardian. Archived at:
  25. Ex Labour MPs 'booted'19th of March 2019,Via the BBCArchived at:
  26. Jeremy Corbyn Walks Out21st of March 2019, Via Sky News.Archived at:
  27. Walkout Due to 'Confusion'21st of March 2019,Via AOL.Archived at:
  28. Walkout Not a Disaster,Via the Newstatesman20th of March 2019, Via The Newstatesman.Archived at:
  29. Independent Group to Become a Political Party 29th of March 2019, Via the BBC. Archived at:
  30. Change Name Dispute30th of March 2019, Via inews. Archived at:
  31. Conservative MP Nick Boles quits party after his soft Brexit plan fails 1st of April 2019,Via The Guardian. Archived at:
  32. Anna Soubry on ITV News 1st of April 2019, Via Twitter.
  33. How MPs voted on the second round of indicative votes1st of April 2019,Via The Financial Times. Archived at:
  34. UK's EU Election Results, Via The BBC. Archived at:
  35. Every Change Uker Loses Their Seat Via The Independent. Archived at:
  36. Independent Group For Change Disband Via The Guardian. Archived at: