Three Tory MP quit from the party to join The Independent Group, which was formed this year in February 2019.
The Independent Group is a British centrist and pro-EU political grouping of Members of Parliament.
Its seven founding members resigned from the Labour Party, citing their dissatisfaction with the Labour leadership’s approach to Brexit and its dealing with allegations of antisemitism in the party.
Anna Soubry, Sarah Wollaston and Heidi Allen wrote a joint letter dated 20th February 2019 to Theresa May to confirm their departure.
British Prime Minister Theresa May said she was “saddened”, but her party would “always offer… decent, moderate and patriotic politics”.
The pro-Remain trio will join the new Independent Group – made up of eight Labour MPs who resigned from their party over its handling of Brexit and anti-Semitism – saying it represented “the centre ground of British politics”.
The move has reduced the government’s working majority to nine MPs.
The group now has more MPs in Parliament than the Democratic Unionist Party and equals the number of Liberal Democrats.
'We can no longer act as bystanders. We are honour bound to put our constituents’ and country’s interests first.' Read the letter to the Prime Minister from @heidiallen75 @Anna_Soubry and @sarahwollaston #ChangePolitics pic.twitter.com/1HxHOULbft
— The Independent Group (@TheIndGroup) February 20, 2019
In the letter, the Three former Tory MPs said the party was “in the grip” of the DUP and the pro-Leave European Research Group over Brexit, and said there had been a “dismal failure” to stand up to them.
They wrote: “We find it unconscionable that a party, once trusted on the economy, more than any other, is now recklessly marching the country to the cliff edge of no deal.”
They told Mrs May: “We voted for you as leader because we believed you were committed to a moderate, open-hearted Conservative Party.”
“Sadly, the Conservative Party has increasingly abandoned these principles and values with a shift to the right of British politics.”
The three MPs said they will support the government on areas such as the economy, security and improvements to public services, but they felt “honour bound to put our constituents’ and country’s interests first” over Brexit.