Chuka Umunna to form new party, beginning talks with Electoral Commission
The recently formed Independent Group, comprised of former Conservative and Labour MPs, are now seeking to become an official political party. This comes after their spokesman, Chuka Umunna, commenced talks with the Electoral Commission today.
Spotted earlier today outside the Electoral Commission’s London HQ, the BBC reported him as saying that becoming a formal political party would present voters with an alternative in a “broken political system”.
So far, the Independent Group consists of 11 MPs – eight former Labour MPs and three former Conservatives.
Elaborating on this decision, Umunna said: “We have been absolutely overwhelmed by the tens of thousands of people who have signed up to our website, who have shown support for what we are doing and want to see an alternative, to build an alternative”
"We aren't a political party, but quite clearly there is an appetite for a new one, so we are here to discuss with them what that involves."
Becoming a new political party requires more than just a declaration, as certain conditions must be met first.
Before the Electoral Commission can declare the Independent Group a party, the group must submit in their proposal:
· A leader (presumed to be Chuka Umunna)
· A treasurer
· A nominating officer
· A party emblem
· A basic party description
Alongside Umunna, Gavin Shuker, Chris Leslie, Ann Coffey and Heidi Allen were also spotted at the Electoral Commission, with Anna Soubry, Sarah Wollaston and Joan Ryan appearing later, meaning that the process has considerable weight behind it.
It's not yet clear when the process will be completed, but the group's intention is to be ready by the time of the next general election.