Will Tory Remainers defect to new Independent Group?

There is huge speculation that one or more of the hardline Remainer contingent in the Conservative Party could be about to defect to the new ‘Independent Group’ formed by disgruntled Labour MPs yesterday.

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The group included Luciana Berger who denounced the Labour Party as “institutionally anti-Semitic” but aren’t planning to put their decision back to the people – despite the likes of Chuka Umunna constantly talking up a second referendum.

There is now the suggestion that Tory Remainer MPs such as Heidi Allen or Sarah Wollaston could join the new group. Both are understood to have come under pressure locally from the pro-Brexit Conservative grassroots.

Wollaston recently whinged about the influx of Brexiteers in the party, complaining: “Blukip has been busy taking over the Tory Party alongside the ERG. Soon there will be nothing left at all to appeal to moderate centre ground voters.”

She also said: “Tory leadership has taken zero interest in this blatant entryism & will only wake up to the reality of the ‘purple momentum’ destroying their Party when it’s too late.”

When The Sun asked anti-Brexit MP Anna Soubry whether she was going to leave the Tory Party, she replied: “Nothing to say. Today is about Labour and Corbyn”. Not exactly convincing.

Others who could quit include Antoinette Sandbach, Philip Lee and Justine Greening.

A senior Conservative has been quoted as saying: “There’s a feeling that all six have already ‘left’.

“They speak about the Conservative Party in the third person, talking about ‘us’ and ‘them’. It’s feeling that it’s only a matter of time before they go.”

Surely more ‘people’s vote’ MPs wouldn’t quit the party they were elected to represent without calling by-elections? Right?