Tory rebels aim to destroy Conservative party after defecting to Independent Group

Written by Emilio Casalicchio on 21 February 2019 in News

Heidi Allen said if the newly formed bloc is a success “there won’t be a Tory party to go back to”

Independent Group - Image credit: PA Images

One of the rebel Tory MPs who quit to join Labour colleagues in the Independent Group has said she wants to destroy her old party.

In outspoken comments, Heidi Allen said if the newly formed bloc is a success “there won’t be a Tory party to go back to”.

She also said around a third of Tories were frustrated with the direction the party is heading in, while another top MP warned he would resign the whip if Britain heads for a no-deal Brexit.

Allen dramatically quit the party yesterday alongside Anna Soubry and Dr Sarah Wollaston, joining eight Labour MPs in the centrist grouping that was launched on Monday.

The self-styled ‘three amigos’ said they resigned to fight against Brexit and argued the Conservative party had been taken over by the hard right.

Asked at a press briefing yesterday if she could ever rejoin the Tories, Allen said: “I can’t imagine it, I just can’t.

“Not least because if we do our jobs right there won’t be a Tory party to go back to.

“We are about creating something better that is bang smack in the centre ground of British politics, that people out there I am convinced, we are convinced, want.”

She added: “This is about the future, this is not about going back.”

Appearing later on the ITV Peston show, she said “a third of the party” was fed up of the direction it was heading under Theresa May and might be tempted to quit as well.

Meanwhile, anti-Brexit former minister Dominic Grieve told BBC’s Newsnight he would “certainly cease to take the whip if I thought the Government was about to take us into a no-deal Brexit”.

Pressed on whether that would mean leaving the Conservative party, he added: “I would have to leave the party, yes.”

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