The undemocratic few in Independent Labour

The MPs that are defecting to the Independent group do not get on well with democracy. They all dislike the result of the People’s vote in 2016. They now wish to change their views on big issues, compared to the Labour and Conservative Manifesto platforms they stood on in 2017. If they are keen on democracy and a People’s vote, they should offer themselves for election in a series of by elections soon.

An MP who changes party allegiance is not obliged to resign to create a by election. Indeed, if an MP resigns from his or her party to be independent because he or she thinks their party is failing to carry out promises they jointly made at the last election there is not even a moral pressure to hold a by election. But if an MP wishes to change party,  or to be a so called independent on a very different platform to the one they stood on for their original party, there is plenty of moral pressure to ask the electors their view.

When Douglas Carswell and Mark Reckless decided the Conservatives were not Eurosceptic enough they resigned to join UKIP.  They did the decent thing, stood in by elections and won. It did not work out well for them personally, on the assumption they would have liked to carry on in Parliament.  Mark  lost his seat in the following General election, whilst Douglas ended up in substantial disagreement with the Leader of UKIP and also ceased to be an MP.

The media seem to think the Independent group will morph into a new party. As it does so there will be more pressure on its members to answer why they do not  submit themselves to an electoral test of what they are doing. This is particularly apposite given the belief of many of them that the public should be offered another vote on the issue of the EU. Wasn’t the 2017 General election another vote on the EU? I remember the election being dominated by the Brexit issue. 82% of the public voted for the two main parties who both said they would implement the result of the referendum. The Lib Dems made the case for a second referendum and slumped to 10% support.

I would be interested in what name you think would be most appropriate for this new grouping?  Would it be  unkind to suggest the We know better than the voters party, or perhaps the Not the Labour party.


  1. Ian wragg
    February 22, 2019

    The EU Dependent Party.

    1. Merlin
      February 22, 2019

      I can come up with some names for the ERG too.

      I would argue in their defence that this group of independents seem to be trying to battle the ideology which seems to have consumed both the U.K and U.S.

      I believe politics is crying out for a moderate, pragmatic party who rather than executing ‘the will of the British people’ will execute what they believe is ‘best for the country’ – be that Remain, May’s deal or No deal. I’m desperate for MPs to think for themselves rather than try to guess what the population thinks or listen to diehard activists. I don’t know if this party will achieve that. I hope so.

      1. Hope
        February 22, 2019

        It is funny how the Monster Raving Soubry three have more in common with Labour to form their group than the remainer lib dems who they were in coalition with!

        1. margaret howard
          February 22, 2019


          ” Monster Raving Soubry”

          How undignified to have to resort to cheap jibes just because you don’t agree with them. That sort of behaviour belongs to the playground.

          1. Hope
            February 23, 2019

            Not at all, I think it is quite catchy when I read it, a bit of banter. Soubry is quick to label and smear anyone with a different view. Her screwed up face and intonation in her voice quite spiteful. Even her false statement on leaving about blukip when there is no evidence whatsoever to her false claims. Look at what she said about Farage on national TV, then as the Gaul to call the police when she is insulted! I bet her assocaition regrets not ousting her last year when she said about joining another party, now they have no representation.

          2. libertarian
            February 23, 2019


            “How undignified to have to resort to cheap jibes just because you don’t agree with them. That sort of behaviour belongs to the playground.”

            Said without a trace of self awareness of all the names Brexiters have been called over the last 2 half years

          3. Edward2
            February 23, 2019

            Very well said Hope.

      2. eeyore
        February 22, 2019

        We are all moderate in our own eyes. But those seeking to subvert the biggest democratic vote in our history are certainly not moderate in mine.

        1. Merlin
          February 22, 2019

          That doesn’t sound like compromise to me. I would argue May’s deal is an attempt at that. Unfortunately everyone hates it.

          Though my hunch is that if we leave with no deal, we end up with something very similar to May’s deal. We’ll have to agree on something, and it’s all we can get. But we will see.

      3. NickC
        February 22, 2019

        Merlin, Why do you suppose a relatively ordinary member of the public suddenly becomes possessed of the wisdom of Solomon simply by being elected? Aren’t you idolising MPs too much?

        1. Merlin
          February 22, 2019

          Great point actually. I’m not sure I idolise MPs but I have to admit to generally respecting institutions and order.

          However, I believe MPs aren’t simply members of the public. I think they have to listen to many arguments and details and be informed about the things they vote on in a way that I am not. So, yes, I do think MPs are more informed than the average member of the general public. Also I think it’s really easy for me to shoot from the sidelines, so I try to put myself in their position.

      4. John Hatfield
        February 22, 2019

        Rather than what is best for big-business, I assume you mean.

  2. Peter Wood
    February 22, 2019

    Good Morning,

    It’s too easy to take shots and the ‘new party’ if it is. What more important is how the parliamentary arithmetic is looking, now that we are closing in on a decision. I certainly don’t know but I would appreciate Sir John’s thoughts on where the votes are likely to be now.
    There are probably two critical ones. possibly 3; the next Meaningful Vote (if Mr. Cox comes back waving a piece of paper) the Cooper/Letwin amendment, and possibly a vote of confidence resulting from the others to bring about a GE.

    Reply Difficult to see the Withdrawal Agreement passing without rewritten text. NO majority for a General Election. Too early to judge amendments.

    1. Richard
      February 22, 2019

      A Civil Servant provided a detailed analysis of the Political Declaration & the many ways that it seeks to bind the UK: Horrors lurk there. So incorporating the PD into the WA wouldn’t help us at all.

  3. Mark B
    February 22, 2019

    Good morning.

    I can only repeat that which was written by, eeyore yesterday.

    I would be interested in what name you think would be most appropriate for this new grouping?

    Does the best entry get a prize ?

    1. Mark B
      February 22, 2019

      Sir John

      Why are you holding this up in moderation ? The link is to your own blog / diary on comment from another poster who you already allowed ? Plus, it is relevant to today’s topic. It strikes as a bit petty of you.

      1. Peter
        February 22, 2019

        That’s what he does when he wants to shape how comments pan out. Your comments obviously don’t suit today. Same with mine.

        He deletes too. Especially if you dont say nice things about the ISIS woman demanding to come back to the UK.

        Reply I delete for too long, for unread links, for swear words and for unpleasant attacks on individuals or named groups

        1. Mark B
          February 23, 2019

          I know Peter, I know.

  4. Peter
    February 22, 2019

    One of the seven dwarfs was on Question Time yesterday. The first time I had seen it with Fiona Bruce in charge. He got roasted for his failure to allow his constituents an immediate by election.

    Chris Leslie tried to pretend that he owed it to the country to concentrate on trying to save the nation from the Brexit “cliff edge”. That is very noble of him. Unfortunately neither the audience nor the panel agreed with him.

    1. Peter
      February 22, 2019

      I think the so-called Conservative ‘Brexit Delivery Group’ should be renamed. It has just been mentioned on radio 4 Today programme.

      I think the ‘Brexit in Name Only Group’ would be a more accurate title.

    2. Richard
      February 22, 2019

      “A by-election is held if a seat becomes vacant during the lifetime of a Parliament, either when an MP resigns from the House of Commons, or because an MP has died. The law also allows a seat to be declared vacant because of a Member’s bankruptcy, mental illness or conviction for a serious criminal offence.”

      Sir John: “But if an MP wishes to change party or to be a so called independent on a very different platform to the one they stood on for their original party, there is plenty of moral pressure to ask the electors their view.”
      This could be tightened up into a definition of “political bankruptcy” – that added to a petition of (say) 33% of voters could perhaps allow voters to trigger a by-election… as a varient on Zac Goldsmith’s 2014 proposal:

  5. Gordon Nottingham
    February 22, 2019

    where is the courage of convictions?

  6. Stephen Priest
    February 22, 2019

    Taking selfies in the House of Commons just about sums them up.

    The voters of their constituencies should demand a People Vote.

    They didn’t know what they were voting for.

    The thought the were voting for Conservative or Labour candidates campaigning on manifestoes honouring the referendum.

  7. Newmania
    February 22, 2019

    U Gov (16.1.2019) measured hypothetical voting intentions at 48% remain, 38% leave, and 14% ‘don`t know’. Both major Parties, however, are committed to Brexit, and Jeremy Corbyn more than anyone.
    Corbyn voted for Britain to leave the EEC in 1975, opposed the creation of the European Unio ,the Lisbon Treaty, the EU diplomatic service and much more.
    He went on holiday during the referendum, refused to attend the Remain campaign launch, and called for the invocation of Article 50 faster than Theresa May.
    If you detest Brexit, its economic blight and its nasty heart, Tony Benn`s followers are no more your friend than Enoch Powell’s .
    The sad truth is that Remain has no powerful allies and we will shortly be living through an on going car crash , poorer diminished and ashamed of our own country.
    It could not be worse , and this new Party is change , I hope again.

    1. Mark B
      February 22, 2019

      Does that crystal ball of yours give the lottery numbers too ? Because if it doesn’t, I’d take it back from where you bought it.

      1. M Davis
        February 22, 2019


    2. Mitchel
      February 22, 2019

      Remain has plenty of powerful allies-particularly amongst overseas based elites.

    3. NickC
      February 22, 2019

      Newmania, Why should being as independent as New Zealand be an “ongoing car crash”, making us “poorer, diminished, and ashamed of our own country”?

      I am proud that we voted to leave your rootless ideology and its spawn, the corrupt EU, behind.

      I predicted the EU would not be a friend, or even reasonable. I was right. But I admit I am shocked by continuity Remain with its hatred of our nation and its people, and its willingness to destroy democracy in the UK. Gloating over old Leave voters dying; cheering every setback; exaggerating every problem; – you lot are disgusting; and you’ve been rumbled.

  8. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    February 22, 2019

    “82% voted for Brexit” but opinion polls show no majority for leavers
    UKIP had 26% in 2014 European elections and less than 1% in UK elections
    Just two examples that the UK democratic system isn’t representative (there are many more).

    1. libertarian
      February 22, 2019


      Another European who doesn’t understand how democracy works.

      By the way the opinion polls have barely budged its still 54% leave

      1. margaret howard
        February 22, 2019



        Another European who doesn’t understand how democracy works.”

        FPTP is NOT democracy. We live in a 2 party state – a system that keeps out any other group. Much as I loathe anything UKIP stand for, in the 2015 GE they won nearly 4m votes, nearly 13% of the total, but got just 1 MP.

        If that’s what you call ‘democracy’, no wonder European states want nothing to do with it.

        1. Edward2
          February 23, 2019

          If voters liked a thrid party enough they would gain more and more seats.
          Voters seem happy to vote for the two main parties.
          The Greens and Lib Dems simply are not popular with voters.

        2. Rien Huizer
          February 23, 2019


          Since no one knows what democracy means (as a minimum “governing with the consent of the people” and as a maximum “everyone has a say about everything and there is compulsory majority voting on every issue”) claims about regimes (systems of government) claiming democratic status are all equally valid or invalid.

          Despite the fact that many descendents of the English system (US mainly, Canada) and ex-colonies (India, Singapore) have a form of single plurality voting (winner takes all) within an overall sysem with single representative districts there are countries that found it unsatisfactory (Australia, New Zealand, Ireland). Of course the downside of the original is that small parties have no representation at all and that only a minority of eligible (not necessarily actual) voters feel ownership of their representative. That results in governments often supported by less than 30-40% of the eligble voter base (60% turnout and 35-65% of the actual vote). There is a very strong bias in favour of a virtual duopoly of established parties.

          Proportional systems have the effect of generating relatively weak, compromise-based governments (coalitions).

          So it is what you want: maximum representation )proportional) and policy stability (coalition government) or maximum power for the government of the day with the potential of shape, sudden policy turns.

          I guess the countries with modified English systems have a better balance between representation ond government effectiveness, especially if there is a house of review with some real power elected on a different basis and with a different cycle.

        3. libertarian
          February 23, 2019


          Over the course of the last few years I think you will find that new parties have arisen , i.e. The SNP and taken seats. I agree I dont like our 2 party politics and I do agree we could have a better system but theres nothing undemocratic about first past the post , its how nearly all Presidential elections take place

    2. NickC
      February 22, 2019

      PvL, But we had a Referendum where Leave won 52% of the vote. Opinion polls don’t trump votes. General elections are about a multitude of policies and issues, so what they indicate on one particular issue is seldom clear, unless specified (and honouring the Referendum was). UKIP lost votes because the electorate trusted MPs to honour the Referendum vote. Maybe we were too gullible?

      1. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        February 22, 2019

        @NickC: Indeed “opinion polls don’t trump votes” and “general elections are about a multitude of policies”.
        So to say that 82% of the voters voted for Brexit is only seemingly true and in reality it is false, otherwise a sizeable chunk of the 48.1% remainers would suddenly have voted for Brexit.

        Too many people simply have no choice and don’t feel represented. Imagine you were a very convinced anti-EU voter, and that this issue had top priority for you, but you lived in Kenneth Clarke’s safe-seat constituency. How could you feel represented??? (Or vice-versa my mother in law who lived in Bill Cashes constituency).

        Then finally comes a one-issue vote in 2016, and the most awful misleading campaigns were fought from both sides. Come the result and it is proclaimed as the greatest democratic event ever in the UK !
        How could it even be called reliable. From computer processing I remember the term “garbage in – garbage out”). Britain deserves so much better than its old-fashioned and outdated system!

        N.B. I’m ok with Brexit, as I have long argued that the current UK doesn’t fit in the EU. So please go and have your glorious dreams, time will tell how realistic they were..

        Reply Peopke had a clear choice in 2017. Anyone who wanted to reverse the referendum could vote Lib Dem

        1. Edward2
          February 23, 2019

          You would have seen a rise in the number of votes for Lib Dems Greens and any other party that openly said they wanted to remain in the EU.
          But in the 2017 election you did no see that..
          At EU level you would see a rise in votes for pro EU MEPs standing for election from the UK.
          But in the last EU elections you did not see that.

          Your post is just wishful thinking Peter.
          By undemocratic you mean I want my view to win and until it does I say it is undemocratic.
          If the referendum vote had been carried out on a constituency basis Leave would have had a 150 seat majority in Parliament.

        2. NickC
          February 23, 2019

          PvL said: “Then finally comes a one-issue vote in 2016, and the most awful misleading campaigns were fought from both sides.”

          There was nothing “awfully”, or even significantly, misleading about the Leave campaign. In my view it was a model of honesty and rationality. However it is true that different campaigners majored on different issues: law; economics; immigration; etc. It was a proper political campaign about beliefs and opinions. History shows that Remains were wrong both before the vote and after it.

          Your problem appears to be that you have swallowed the EU ideology and so rate uniformity over highly. Lack of uniformity is a British speciality. But it isn’t “misleading”.

    3. Lindsay McDougall
      February 23, 2019

      No Deal outscores Mrs May’s deal by 60:40 (Source: a recent large sample Ipsos/Mori poll).

      If there is a second referendum, No Deal must be on the ballot paper.

      1. Rien Huizer
        February 23, 2019

        @ Lindsay Mc Dougall

        To be fair, polling (I do not have the specific poll at hand now) also shows that quite a few people do not know what “no deal” means. Sone confuse it with “no change”. My recommendation: let the people taste strict “no deal” for a year and then vote again. Quite possible that this will happen and it must be interesting for someone like me (unlikely to be affected in a major way, either way) to watch this from a safe distance.

  9. The Prangwizard
    February 22, 2019

    And the three ‘tories’? They sit with TIG.

  10. Dominic
    February 22, 2019


    The Conservative party is led by an ardent Europhile, liberal left lackey. May could be equally comfortable as leader of Labour. This is not the Tory party I was once voted for. If there was another serious option our party would be dead in the water

    And Labour. A rancid, racist and extremist sect determined to incite hate and cause chaos, and they will if they achieve power

    So, the two parties are composed of MPs who betrayed their principles years ago and betrayed their core voters decades ago

    The voter is left with two main parties that are hollowed out and empty of morality. We only vote for you as we have nowhere left to turn

    And therefore this new splinter group’s a reaction to Labour’s racist core with the three Tories acting like petulant children though to be fair they’re repugnant

    What will you do John when May betrays you and our wish to embrace sovereignty and forces through a Parliamentary circumvention of the EU referendum result? Will you resign your seat or simply accept defeat?

    And again. Why has Labour not been demonised? Where are the BBC and CH-4 investigations into racism in that party? If this was a Tory issue it would all over the press and tv. Is this Labour’s client state protecting its own rancid pile?

    Where are the police? I can’t see the police? Or is anti semitic hate crime simply a criminal offence for the commoner in the street with Labour party members exempt from investigation? How convenient

    The Tories should be ripping Labour apart on this issue. If this was our issue Labour would be destroy us. We have lost our bite and our balls

  11. Horatio McSherry
    February 22, 2019

    I was going to say The Illiberal Undemocrats, however that seems to have been the Lib Dems modus operandi for the past couple of decades.

    How about the dry The Anti-Democratic Party (where all members must take the Hyporcritic Oath)?

    Or possibly more realistically, the FTB…the Front for Tony Blair.

  12. jerry
    February 22, 2019

    Strange how you headline those from the Labour party but make no mention of the three ex Conservatives, either you are trying to hoodwink or wrote this several days ago. The title only needed the first three words!

    As for by-elections, and a new name for this party/grouping, as I said the other day, yes they should all stand on their new tickets, and the name should be “The Euro Group” as it fully and honestly described their end goal for the UK. Indeed, a most undemocratic few…

    1. J Bush
      February 22, 2019

      Very fitting name.

      However, IMO they are unlikely to select that name, as it would conflict with what they appear to think is their clever subterfuge. Oh dear, oh dear, and they think us plebs are thick

  13. Lifelogic
    February 22, 2019

    The new party is surely doomed. Soubry was on LBC yesterday with loads of people telling her she should resign test her support. She just talked through them all and tried to question, attack & rubbish them. She sounded pathetic and very silly indeed with her “I have not changed my views, the Tory party has changed” line. Similar calls for by elections on Question Time with the very unimpressive Chris Leslie.

    The Tories under May/Hammond are really a tax and regulate to death, left wing, Brexit in Name Only party, not much different from Soubry really. If only they actually were under the control of the ERG and sound wing. The only real difference between Soubry and May is Soubry wants a second Brexit vote (whereas with T May we do not really know as nothing she says can be trusted at all). A second referendum would be lost even more heavily, unless outrageously rigged by government with a duff and unfair question.

    Voters are crying out for real Conservative Party that actually believes in lower taxes, freedom of choice and a real Brexit. They are certainly do not want another Libdim party.

    A new name for the party:- The “Anti-Democratic (we and EU bureaucrats know best so just shut up you voters) Party” or the “Neither Liberal nor Democratic Party” which would also fit the LibDems rather well. Let them spit the 10% electoral support between them.

    1. Rien Huizer
      February 23, 2019

      @ Lifelogic

      Corbyn is not going to try to topple the government soon and the DUP seems to be coming to their senses about no deal or the consequences of a hard border. So it is entirely possible (given defections and reduced effectiveness of the whip) that a slightly tweaked deal (with the current WA intact) passes Parliament. That is not inconsistent with the referendum result because the people voted to leave by a small majority. Not how they would leave and just giving up EU membership is already enough to satisfy the referendum (regardless whether current parliament needs to honor the result or not). The interesting part going forward will be what type of prospective relationship will be incorporated in the Political Declaration.

  14. Lifelogic
    February 22, 2019

    So we might finally get some proposed Tariffs published for a WTO Brexit from Gove! Will these be real or just another part of project fear?

  15. agricola
    February 22, 2019

    Do not feed their collective egos by paying them any attention. They have chosen to fight against the wishes of the democratic majority of electors, what is their attraction. Only the media who also defy the electorate will give them oxygen. Anticipate seeing them on Question Time if you are still watching it.

    Whether they put themselves up for re election is between them and their constituents. It is of no real interest to me beyond its effect on the mathmatics of the HoC.

    1. agricola
      February 22, 2019

      It is short, firsg on the block, and hardly likely to give you indigestion with your cornflakes, so why does it remain unmoderated.

  16. Caterpillar
    February 22, 2019

    On the basis of the alleged anti-Semitic behaviour of the Labour party, and viewing its leader as not fit to be PM I would call them the

    Principled, but late to the party Party.

    On their attitude to brexit and democracy

    The Soiree Party

  17. formula57
    February 22, 2019

    In assigning names one should best have an eye to the future.

    Accordingly, this Labour schism might be named the Tweedledee Party and then the Tweedledum Party could sit alongside it comprised of the May quislings (obviously Mrs. Weak and Vacilliating herself and Rudd, Gauke, Clark, Mundell and anymore who know better than the voters). These parties are materially indistinguishable now so the name changes just formalize matters.

  18. Dame Rita Webb
    February 22, 2019

    The Lost Deposit Party

    1. Lifelogic
      February 22, 2019

      Indeed. The three fake Tory defectors seem to want to destroy the Tory Party. Surely they were rather better at doing that when they were in it?

      Soubry said that she thought Theresa May had a problem with immigration – Soubry code for “racist” one assume. I am no fan of the essentially socialist and “Brexit in name only” May, but Anna Soubry is dire. What on earth does the party stand for other than defying voters over the Brexit?

      The “Dodo Party” perhaps.

    2. eeyore
      February 22, 2019

      Over on ConHome Iain Dale offers the Monster Raving Soubry Party, which seems both definitive and tautological.

      1. Dame Rita Webb
        February 22, 2019

        Looking at some of their members past claims The Expenses Party would also be appropriate

    3. Hope
      February 22, 2019

      The lack of integrity in the monster racing ….party is there for all to see. The lack of loyalty and integrity shown by the former Tory MPs,clearly to be viewed on social media showing what they said, allowing scores of people to canvass for them, raise money for them on false grounds is beyond despicable.

      The sheer lies about bulking dismanteld by conhome today, there is no evidence whatsoever. Allen stating she wants to destroy the Tory party and has now said she wants a Chuka the loser to evade her new group. But none of them whatsoever has the courage of conviction to hold a by election.

      What is damning for your party is Hammond’s response yesterday. He would welcome them back! How do you think that would go down with their former supporters! The same man who called 17.4 million leavers extremists less than a month ago! The same man you hold responsible for the fiscal squeeze to help scare people of this nation. Treacherous, shameful of the same ilk as etc Another clue for the reports of ministers quitting, do so and that will be an end to your party and you will never be in office again let alone a minister. You are in dangmas it is with the public despite Corbyn’s flaws none of you could beat him with a 40 lead!

      Tory associations need to deselct those who have made or make threats to leave i.e. Grieve, Rudd, Gauke, Greg Clarke, Letwin, Greening. People do not turn coates who act against the people of this country. People view their threats against what they voted for not against May.

  19. John
    February 22, 2019

    Perhaps the Give Power (of attorney) to Brussels Party.

    1. Timaction
      February 22, 2019

      The web are calling them the “Monster Raving Soubry Party”, apparently gaining traction!

  20. fedupsoutherner
    February 22, 2019

    How about this? Labour. Working for ourselves because we know best.

    They should all go to the people and get their vote or not as the case might be. Disappearing into the ether would be the best thing though.

  21. Andy
    February 22, 2019

    “I would be interested in what name you think would be most appropriate for this new grouping?”

    The Chamaeleon Party.

    1. Anonymous
      February 22, 2019

      Wow ! A post from Andy without an insult and a difficult to spell word.

      Two days ago he posted a comment rubbing our noses in it over a jihadi bride who will be returned. (I agree, she will.)

      He didn’t include the fact that we will remain tolerant and peaceful about it – as we always have been about such things which have happened many times before.

      Andy called us “frothing at the mouth xenophobes” or to that effect.

      Andy loathes Leave voters more than he does the head choppers, rapers, lorry maniacs and suicide belt nutters… that’s if he loathes them at all.

      Always on the other side is our Andy.

      Always on the wrong side of history is Andy.

      I come here daily to get my motivation from him. I’m sure many others do too. I’m sure many Remainers are thinking “Shut up ! You’re not doing us any favours, Andy.”

      Ever wondered why you’ve not been barred, Andy ?

      I picture a. etc ed
      (Sorry to go on the offensive, Sir John.)

      1. margaret howard
        February 23, 2019

        I’m not surprised you choose to stay ‘Anonymous’ one of it’s synonyms being “faceless”!

      2. Anonymous
        February 23, 2019

        Sir John

        Thank you for sparing readers my rather descriptive image of Andy in his mum’s basement.

        Once seen cannot be unseen – even in the mind’s eye.

        Won’t do it again.

  22. NigelE
    February 22, 2019

    The Indecipherable Party. Well, I cannot make them out.

    For their colour, I suggest the rainbow: all things to all persons, when you mix it up you get white noise.

    1. Tad Davison
      February 22, 2019


      Mix all colours together and the result is brown. That surely has its own commentary.


      1. margaret
        February 22, 2019

        Not like you Tad ..and they are certainly not creeps.

  23. Al
    February 22, 2019

    The best way I have heard this put is that: “The people should have another vote… but not on us.”

    1. Lifelogic
      February 22, 2019


  24. George Dunnett
    February 22, 2019

    Party name: The do as I say, not as I do Party!

    The simple test for an immoral action is, if it feels wrong it is wrong.

    Anna Soubry, felt she could no longer stay in the Conservative Party because she felt she couldn’t change/reform it from within. But yet she feels that is very possible in the EU and so we should remain.

    Cuckoo, cuckoo, cuckoo!!

  25. Mike Wilson
    February 22, 2019

    I’d suggest Tthe Hypocritical Party.

    They want a second vote on the referendum but won’t give their constituents a second vote on them.

  26. Javelin
    February 22, 2019

    Psychological Perspective
    The We Know Best Party

    Philosophical Perspective
    The Nietzschian Aristotcatic Party

    EU Perspective
    Please Let Us Back In Party

    UKIP (Opposite) Perspective
    The UK Dependence Party

    Electoral Perspective
    The Flash in Pan Party

    Policy Perspective
    The Betweenies Party

    Orwellian Perspective
    The People’s Democratic Party

    1. Bob
      February 22, 2019

      Let’s not beat about the bush – The Quisling Party.

      1. Hoof Hearted
        February 22, 2019

        Crikey, I posted the same but it didn’t pass moderation you must be one of the favoured few.

    2. Iain Gill
      February 22, 2019

      Re Orwellian Perspective yes we need lots of that.

    3. John Fitzgerald
      February 22, 2019

      How about “We left the labour party before we were deselected” party?

  27. Nigl
    February 22, 2019

    The anti democratic league or Remoaner Cabal shortened to RC. Incidentally what are you going to do about your alleged 100 members who will vote to extend Brexit.

    1. NickC
      February 22, 2019

      Nig1, I guess you mean: “… your alleged 100 Tory MPs who will vote to delay Brexit?” Of course we are in this crisis precisely because a majority in the HoC want to remain in the EU, as does the PM, the government, and the civil service. TIG – or Juncker’s Junkies – is just the tip of the Quisling iceberg.

  28. Denis Cooper
    February 22, 2019

    How about “European Unionist Party”, or “European Federalist Party”?

  29. R.O'Connor
    February 22, 2019

    New name :’I Don’t Believe It’s Not The …………… Party’. Fill in blank to suit your political persuasion.

  30. oldtimer
    February 22, 2019

    I suggest The Global Government Party to reflect their disdain for Westminster politics and desire to reduce it to the status of parish pump politics.

    Of course there are many reasons to be contemptuous of contemporary Westminster politics. Parliament is behaving appallingly badly over the implementation of Brexit. The real divide is between those who believe it should take responsibility for Brexit implementation so that the UK can function as an independent state and those who wish to abdicate it so that the UK remains a dependent satellite state.

    1. oldtimer
      February 22, 2019

      PS Ian Dale suggests, in his ConHome article, The Monster Raving Soubry party.

  31. Brian Tomkinson
    February 22, 2019

    The ‘EU uber alles party’ with a blue and gold star banner.

    1. Tad Davison
      February 22, 2019

      Good one Brian! And more than a grain of irony in that choice. Wish I’d thought of it!


  32. Anonymous
    February 22, 2019

    The EU Dependant Party.

    (Well. If they insist on being opposite to UKIP.)

  33. NickC
    February 22, 2019

    The Subjugation Party? Strapline: For the EU Empire not the UK; and: It doesn’t matter what you vote for, the answer is the EU.

  34. Denis Cooper
    February 22, 2019

    Oh, now we have a “Brexit Delivery Group” of 100 “moderate” Tory MPs who are determined to prevent Brexit by insisting that if it was to happen then it should only happen on whatever rubbish terms the EU may choose to offer. Personally I don’t see anything “moderate” about effectively allowing the EU to hold us prisoner forever despite our referendum vote to leave, but there you go, that’s politics for you … I wonder who the ringleader is?

    1. NickC
      February 22, 2019

      Denis Cooper, The “Brexit Delivery Group” of 100 ‘moderate’ Tory MPs …” Tusk, tusk, there is a special place in hell for MPs who aim to cheat Leave by faking their real allegiance.

  35. Richard1
    February 22, 2019

    I suggest New Labour. It seems to be taking votes mainly from Labour, and I have every sympathy with Labour MPs deciding they cannot continue in a party rife with anti-semitism, and where there has been support from the leadership for anti-western terrorist groups and despicable socialist regimes.

    What I can’t understand is why anyone who calls themselves a Conservative wants to join it. We have the most left wing Conservative govt ever- high taxes, PC virtue signaling, nanny state finger wagging, socialistic vanity projects like HS2. I suppose they have simply changed their minds on Brexit and now want to prevent it at all costs despite their pledges at the last election and votes in Parliament. In that case they should say so.

  36. Dominic
    February 22, 2019


    Any Tory MP backing May in her attempt destroy and circumvent the result of the EU ref is an enemy of British democracy

    Our democracy is not an inconvenience though some Tory MPs treat is as such. We know Labour treat democracy with contempt for they see it as a mere conduit to power but I always expected more from my own party. We’ve seen sadly let down by our own party

    You’re all a disgrace to the UK

    1. Turboterrier.
      February 22, 2019

      @ Dominic (slightly off topic)

      Any Tory MP backing May in her attempt destroy and circumvent the result of the EU ref is an enemy of British democracy.

      If that is the case what about the totally insane ludicrous announcement by Lord Gummer and his committee about the phasing out of gas burning appliances? The man does not have a clue, has not the USA not totally re-branded itself with the help of cheap energy provided by shale gas? China, Germany and India to name but a few going hell bent for leather on building coal fired power stations to make themselves more competitive? Our industrial base has to take the hit time and time again over ever increasing energy prices. The size of this country and its actual contribution to the bigger picture of the whole of climate change is a sick sad joke because we made it law to reduce our carbon footprint. Like Gove with his attack on diesel and setting totally un-achievable targets for electric vehicles, Gummer will not stop at gas hobs it will be boilers next, then into the rural areas to ban kerosene and LPG. People like him are totally destroying this country with these un-thought through decisions, just like all these Tory MP’s hell bent on destroying our democracy. There is not a fag paper difference between them. Incompetence, driven by ignorance and ruled by arrogance seemingly unanswerable to anyone.
      The lunatics have taken over the asylum.

    2. Andy
      February 22, 2019

      Mrs May’s deal takes us out of the EU, the single market and the customs union. None of the Brexiteers who are unhappy with it – including you – have been able to come up with a better plan.

      I agree Mrs May’s plan is naff. But the I always said Brexit was naff and you always said I was wrong. Her plan is Brexit and even you think it is naff. Turns out I was right. And, even now, despite hating her plan you can not come up with a better one.

      1. Edward2
        February 23, 2019

        You have not actually read the Withdrawal Agreement have you Andy.
        It isn’t a deal please stop calling it a deal.

      2. NickC
        February 23, 2019

        Andy, Theresa May’s draft Withdrawal Agreement is not a “deal”. The dWA keeps us tied to the EU in every respect, though by different mechanisms than currently. The dWA is Remain. We told you Remain doesn’t work. We were right.

        The better plan would have been to not invoke Art50, but give the EU 12 months diplomatic notice of our abrogating the EU treaties. In that year we should have repealed the ECA 1972, patriating EU Regulations, as indeed the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 does.

        Meanwhile minor agreements could have been made on technical issues such as mutual recognition of driving licences, nationals living in other countries, flights, professional qualifications, etc. There is no problem with these because some are already agreed.

        If the EU wanted a free trade agreement (to be registered at the WTO as an RTA) then we would have been open to one. I, and others, have been pushing this for 6 years.

  37. William
    February 22, 2019

    The “Leave means Remain” party

  38. Lynn Atkinson
    February 22, 2019

    Fed up with Democracy Party

  39. Narrow Shoulders
    February 22, 2019

    The do as I say not as I do party

    Daisnaid sounds Gaelic so good politicos should be able to build in references to the Irish border and Scotland as reasons to stay in th EU

  40. Richard
    February 22, 2019

    The notion that individual MPs should align themselves with every aspect of the parties election manifesto is just ridiculous.
    These leavers are putting the Country first, their Constituents second, Party 3rd, and obviously risking their long term careers as MPs. This is how it should be. More honesty rather than blindly following party, or as in your case, party within a party policy.
    As you well know, the vast majority of MP’s who have left their party have not submitted themselves immediately for re-election. You have identified 2 out of tens of dozens who have not. They have every right to claim they have been elected as individuals.

    This extract from the 3 Tories resignation letter is completely true.

    “Brexit has re-defined the Conservative Party – undoing all the efforts to modernise it. There has been a dismal failure to stand up to the hardline ERG which operates openly as a party within a party, publicly and privately funded, with its own leader, whip and policy.

    This shift to the right has been exacerbated by blatant entryism. Not only has this been tolerated, it has been actively welcomed in some quarters. A purple momentum is subsuming the Conservatives party, much as the hard left has been allowed to consume and terminally undermine the Labour party.”

  41. David Price
    February 22, 2019

    For the feu, not the many

    1. margaret
      February 22, 2019

      again more sensible……..

      1. margaret
        February 22, 2019

        I t seems that I have posted my comment about sensible option under the wrong person . It was meant for Denis !

    2. margaret
      February 22, 2019

      that’s hot

  42. Bob
    February 22, 2019

    On BBC R4 Toady program this morning a representative from the Tory’s Brexit Delivery Group said that they would try to block Brexit if “no deal” wasn’t “taken off of the table”.

    Doesn’t that make them the Brexit Non-Delivery Group?

  43. George Brooks
    February 22, 2019

    I hope they do stand for re-election and that for each of them it turns out to be a ‘bye bye election!!

  44. Ian wragg
    February 22, 2019

    Seen elsewhere. The monster raving Sourberry party.

  45. Jingleballix
    February 22, 2019

    Beautifully articulated.

    These MPs – and their huge egos – will not invite by-elections because they know that there will be very strong chances of them losing their seats.

    The intensity of their hypocrisy is almost as stunning as that of their whining, and their general hysteria over Brexit and the so-called ‘hard-right’.

    This does not really surprise.

    I suggest a name along the lines of The Pious Party or The Sanctimonials.

  46. piglet
    February 22, 2019

    The Vanity Party.

  47. Sir Joe Soap
    February 22, 2019

    There is no law against them resigning their party and standing as independent without going to the electorate. This says as much about the system as it does about these people it seems to throw up as representatives. However, quite why they stood in 2017 on manifestos they didn’t believe in is unclear. I wonder how many others out there are the same? As the tide goes out on the 2 main parties, the skeletons will be uncovered.

  48. Tim the Coder
    February 22, 2019

    The Illiberal AntiDemocrats.

    The Trough Feeders.

    The Extremely Dim Party (ExDims for short).

  49. Adam
    February 22, 2019

    The ‘Independent Group’ started in a muddle, with Luciana Berger turning from Ruinable Grace into Incurable Rage.

    Just look at their own opening words to assess what they think & feel like:


  50. hellbent
    February 22, 2019

    Better to wait until another hundred members or so leave to join the Independents group rather than have by-elections by drip drip. In fact if the independents group gets to critical mass and they are going to make the difference then it might be a case for having a GE.

    So here’s hoping that politics might eventually change in this place- we need proportional representation, reduce the MP numbers, halve the number of Lords, fire the deadwood and slim down the Monarchy- there are too many living on the fat of the land- by the way anyone heard from Boris or IDS recently? not a peep!

  51. N Murphy
    February 22, 2019

    We should wait and see from where their funding comes from before deciding which subsidiary of which big business they really are.

  52. robert lewy
    February 22, 2019

    In deciding the name of the potential new party one must consider the plight of their members.

    Clearly there can only be one name:

    The Homeless

  53. Martin Conboy
    February 22, 2019

    The Demoral Libocrats. It is a meaningless, confused mish-mash of a name, which makes it an excellent fit, IMHO.

    1. Nicholas Odoni
      February 23, 2019

      Love it. Superb!

  54. Bryan Harris
    February 22, 2019


    JR – You have brilliant contributors – these posts are classic British attitude and should be savoured…

  55. Beecee
    February 22, 2019

    The ‘up yours voters’ Party

  56. Bryan Harris
    February 22, 2019

    These ‘independents’ represent everything that is wrong with some in our political class……

    – they appear to believe that the electorate can be led by the nose;
    – they have no regard for democracy;
    – they seem to think that the EU is something uber-worthy, and anyone that cannot see that it is the greatest invention ever is deluded;
    – they appear to imagine that they can emulate the EU elite and ignore what people want;
    – they think their status somehow makes them important and all-knowing.

  57. Stred
    February 22, 2019

    The European Commission Collaborator’s Party.

  58. acorn
    February 22, 2019

    The last two years have proved our two centuries out of date party centric voting system, is not fit for purpose. If the UK had a “nonpartisan blanket primary elections”, none of the party centric nonsense would now be happening.

    Alas, there is no mechanism; enthusiasm or collective ability available in this nation, to change the current sclerotic self serving system. Hey, mind we’re aw doomed. Just tellin ye, case ye forgot. Doomed ah tell ye.

    1. libertarian
      February 22, 2019


      Oh there is a massive groundswell to change, given a vote the Lords would be gone in an instant. Sadly we dont have the mechanism for change , which of course should also indicate how dangerous the EU is too as theres even less mechanicm for change there

    2. Mitchel
      February 22, 2019

      Robert Michels 1911 Iron Law of Oligarchy which maintains that,no matter what good intentions it may start with,a representative democracy will without exception quickly become a facade to legitimize the rule of a particular elite.

      Which is why periodic revolutions are necessary to clear them out and start a new cycle.

    3. Denis Cooper
      February 22, 2019

      Sarah Wollaston was originally selected as the Tory candidate for Totnes through an “open primary” ballot in which all electors in the constituency could vote. At the time some people hailed that as a step in the right direction.

  59. Monza 71
    February 22, 2019

    The Oblivion Party

    “We’ll follow the EU to the end of the road, come what May”

  60. Fedupsoutherner
    February 22, 2019

    Independence party – putting the EU first.

  61. Original Richard
    February 22, 2019

    Perhaps the “Deep State Party” ?

    With reports that up to 100 Conservative MPs will vote to prevent “no-deal” this new grouping will be swamped by these MPs.

    They know that if they vote to prevent “no deal” then there are only 2 possible outcomes :

    1) We do not leave the EU or

    2) In order to leave we have to accept ANY rotten deal offered to us by the EU even one where there is no escape clause (so even worse than the Lisbon Treaty). In other words an unconditional surrender treaty where negotiations continue for ever or until every country in the rEU gets what it wants from us.

    Either would lead to political unrest and the break-up of both main parties.

  62. Helen Smith
    February 22, 2019

    Know Best party, shortened to Knobs.

  63. Iain Gill
    February 22, 2019

    Re “on a very different platform to the one they stood on” er that’s the whole cabinet, and the last few, as they have all failed to implement their promises on, for instance immigration, in their manifestos, once they gained power. The whole political class say one thing at elections and do another once voted in. So I dont view this lot as much different, as much as I disagree with their views.

    As for party name “The Blairites”

  64. Steve Pitts
    February 22, 2019

    The New European Party. They will say they want to remain but in a reformed EU. That has been tried before. They won’t resign their seats as they will have no vote unless and until re-elected on Brexit or government opposition. They are happy to support people’s vote but not for their own seat until a general election. Does Corbyn want a general election still to be called in the next few weeks or would he prefer some slightly modified deal go through?

  65. Alan Joyce
    February 22, 2019

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    The Carpetbaggers!

    There are various definitions in dictionaries but generally a carpetbagger is a person trying to become a politician in an area which is not their home.

  66. Shieldsman
    February 22, 2019

    The basic problem for many MP’s is that they cannot reconcile the Referendum result with how they voted.
    Polls and research published in the media have only fanned the flames of discontent.
    In our Democracy first past the post wins. Every voter in the United Kingdom had the opportunity to make the simple choice REMAIN or LEAVE. No one knows how those that abstained would have voted.
    The only thing the new Independent Group have in common is that they are Pro-EU.

  67. DennisA
    February 22, 2019

    The “New Liberal Democrats”, in view of noises from that direction.

  68. Alastair Harris
    February 22, 2019

    They are split into at least 3 factions. There is no compelling leader and no real theme for them to group on. Post brexit they will fade into irrelevance. They could have had a theme. They could have rekindled the old blairite policies they all clearly support. But they haven’t and they probably won’t. Don’t have the smarts!

    1. Mitchel
      February 22, 2019

      The Blair that dare not speak it’s name party- but too much of a mouthful.

    2. Mark B
      February 22, 2019

      The decided to dodge the deselection bullet. That is all they stand for.

  69. Mick
    February 22, 2019

    I don’t care less what my constituents want party

  70. David L
    February 22, 2019

    Please Overturn Our Plebiscite Party—or POOP for short!

  71. Kevin
    February 22, 2019

    According to Wikipedia, “All members of the group support a second EU referendum to reverse Brexit”.

    That would make them the Neverendum Party.

  72. G Wilson
    February 22, 2019

    The Monster Raving Soubry Party, obviously.

  73. sm
    February 22, 2019

    Are they formally a Party yet? The last that I read, they had not made an application to the Electoral Commission to be registered as such.

    So perhaps they should be called the “It’s All In The Mind Party”?

  74. Dominic
    February 22, 2019

    Why does this PM still allow the opt-in system in the public sector to be abused by the unions and the Labour party without which Labour would wither and die on the vine?

    Abolish the opt-in system in the public sector to stop Labour abusing the taxpayer

    Why should my taxes be used to finance the anti-semitic, Marxist Labour cult?

    Why are decent, moral people being abused like this?

    Stop pandering to Labour politics and smash their cosy financing mechanism

    1. Iago
      February 22, 2019

      Seconded, this pandering should have been stopped years ago.

  75. MPC
    February 22, 2019

    The WRRRB Party (We Respect the Result of the Referendum But…)

  76. Ignoramus
    February 22, 2019

    Brussels Before Country, or BBC.

    1. Bob
      February 22, 2019

      That has got to get the prize for best suggestion.

      Speaking of which, I hear there will be a public screening exposing the BBC’s hidden agenda tomorrow lunchtime outside the BBC in Salford Quays..

      The fakestream media seem to have completely overlooked this event.

      1. Mitchel
        February 22, 2019

        “The fakestream media seem to have completely overlooked this event”

        Lots of “Integrity” and “Initiative” on display.

  77. Denis Cooper
    February 22, 2019

    Off-topic, the Tory MP Sir Edward Leigh instigated a short debate yesterday evening on his idea that the UK government could employ a recognised instrument of international law to ensure that we did not get permanently stuck in the Irish ‘backstop’:

    “In passing the withdrawal agreement, the Government may find it valuable to use an instrument of international law called a conditional interpretative declaration to clarify our understanding of the temporary nature of the backstop.”

    Whether or not the EU would accept that kind of legal manoeuvre as providing a valid argument for the UK to be allowed to unilaterally abrogate that part of the withdrawal agreement some time in the future, while maintaining other parts of the agreement with which the UK was still content, is in my view highly questionable, but in any case it begs the question of what new provisions would replace the temporary backstop.

    And here I would refer back to my comment yesterday:

    which pointed out:

    “Under Article 20 in the protocol the UK and the EU will each have a veto over the contents of that superseding agreement, and in the case of the EU that will mean that each of the 27 continuing member states will have a national veto.

    So what are the chances that the Irish government would ever willingly agree to a new treaty which inter alia released us from the shackles of whatever EU Customs Union and EU Single Market rules we had accepted back in 2019?

    About the same as the chances that they would agree to the shackles being fitted with a time lock, or they would agree to us being given our own key – zero.”

    I look forward to MPs pointing out this obvious truth in Commons debates.

  78. Paul
    February 22, 2019

    How about the Anti-Democrat Party or the Jean Claude Junker Fan Club?

  79. Everhopeful
    February 22, 2019

    The Bite The Hand That Feeds You Party.

  80. Onlyjoken
    February 22, 2019

    The SLP – Sore Losers Party

  81. Den
    February 22, 2019

    The long-established electoral bias in favour of Labour, Conservatives and Lib Dems in our FPTP system ensures that no ‘upstarts’ can easily get a foot in the door of Parliament. UKIP know this too well as their 3+M votes, which were more than the LibDems and SNP combined, took just one seat. For that reason alone, this ‘newbie’ will fail.
    Furthermore, many of these ‘Independents’ have gone against the decision of their Constituency electorate and that will ensure they do not receive the majority of votes at the next GE. Add to that, their lack of rich sponsors, who will be enssesentiall if they are to promote their cause and the end result is a damp squid.
    I do not wish them well because I do not like anyone who would deny the British people their democracy, especially those who believe themselves intellectually superior to the majority of their constituents.

  82. Lifelogic
    February 22, 2019

    Meanwhile “1/3 of Cabinet ready to quite if May does not rule out no deal” reported today.

    You can only rule out no deal if we have a sensible deal offered. May’s WA is not even close. Are 1/3 of the Cabinet really so daft that they cannot see this? Also ruling no deal would destroy most of the negotiation strength we have, as would agreeing to pay any of the fee inadvance of a trading agreement.

    There is no Brexit cliff edge. Buying May’s truly appalling deal or letting a Corbyn/McDonnall/SNP government in would be jumping off a cliff edge however.

  83. Lexi Dick
    February 22, 2019

    Some excellent ideas in the comments. Mine suggestion’s a bit lengthy, perhaps…

    The My God Why Did We Let Soubry Join Party.

  84. Rien Huizer
    February 22, 2019

    Mr Redwood,

    Assuming these defectors will not be supported by their (former) party and also assuming that their principles/preferences have not changed, they would be acting irrationally if they called by-elections at this stage. This is the time to prevent forms of brexit (or brexit entirely) by denying both the government and the opposition enough power to achieve an extreme result. They wouod probably not support a vote of no confidence, support (with assistance of some Conservatives still in the party) a second referendum or a deal they would consider in the interest of the country. They know their political careers are over and probably are resigned to that.

    To what extent this is democratic I have no idea. That depends on your definition of “democratic”, a highly subjective term (like right, left, conservative, liberal, etc). I am sure it is constitutional and that is what counts in a constitutional democracy.

    BY the way, have you seen an influx of former UKIP members or sympathisers in your local party membership?

    Reply People who used to vote UKIP to get us out of the EU are welcome to join the Conservatives who now share that policy if they now adopt Conservative values and attitudes. There is no evidence of mass infiltration in certain seats.

    1. Mark B
      February 22, 2019

      Reply to reply

      It is not the voters or the rank and file that is the problem, it’s the MP’s. As witnessed by recent events.

    2. NickC
      February 22, 2019

      Rien, What you call an “extreme result” is your Remain code for what we voted for – to leave the EU treaties. And then have a relationship with European countries no different in principle to the relationship we have with Mexico, for example.

  85. ukretired123
    February 22, 2019

    Hotel California Party – You can check out but you cannot leave.
    They forgot the plot. Servants of the people? That’s so 20th Century!

  86. bigneil
    February 22, 2019

    Congratulations John – -you have found a topic where there aren’t massive posts with multiple links, nor one person sending in 3 or 4 replies to themselves.

    How about the “We’ll stamp our feet if we don’t get our own way ” Party.

    1. Mark B
      February 22, 2019


      I think you spoke too soon. 😉

  87. Mark Nottingham
    February 22, 2019

    How about Sourberries Hopeless Elitist Europhile Party
    ( SHEEP ) definitely not to be followed.

  88. John S
    February 22, 2019

    In theory people vote for their candidate before party, although I acknowledge in reality this only holds true in a small minority of votes. I am relaxed about the “Independents” not submitting themselves to a by-election.

    Those who joined this independent group are non-entities when one compares them to the gang of 4 who founded the SDP, and they will disappear without trace from politics, if not from our TV screens. Even the SDP were finished by polling fewer votes than the Monster Raving Looney Party.

    1. NickC
      February 22, 2019

      The SDP now has an MEP, courtesy of UKIP activists and voters.

  89. Jacey
    February 22, 2019

    The ” Oh Whoops I’m already starting to feel I might have made a big mistake ” Party

    February 22, 2019

    The MPs that are defecting to the Independent group do not get on well with democracy. They all dislike the result of the People’s vote in 2016.

    That goes for 75% of MPs. The others just think they’ll be more effective at thwarting Brexit if they remain in their parties.

    They now wish to change their views on big issues, compared to the Labour and Conservative Manifesto platforms they stood on in 2017.

    Again Ditto. However, in Labour’s case the manifesto Brexit commitments look remarkably like remaining in the EU. Quite how this myth developed that the Labour manifesto supported Brexit is beyond me. From the 2017 Manifesto

    We will scrap the Conservatives’ Brexit White Paper and replace it with fresh negotiating priorities that have a strong emphasis on retaining the benefits of the Single market and the Customs Union

    Translation: we’re going to fight the Tries tooth and nail over Brexit.

    1. NickC
      February 22, 2019

      John Finn, Too late – Theresa May has already scrapped the Tory (DExEU) Brexit White Paper. And, yes, I think too many people saw the initial statement by Labour about honouring the Referendum, without reading further and discovering Labour were lying. Again.

  91. Denis Cooper
    February 22, 2019

    Again off-topic, here is a letter I have just sent to my, and Theresa May’s, local newspaper, the Maidenhead Advertiser, with a copy direct to her as my constituency MP:

    “Dear Sir

    Prime Minister Theresa May is trying hard to get the EU to agree to some form of words which could convince Tory MPs that even if the so-called Irish ‘backstop’ did come into effect it would only be a temporary expedient.

    Which is how it should be, given that Article 2 in the protocol aims for it to be superseded by a new agreement by December 31 2020; however this begs the question of what constraints any such new agreement would place upon the UK.

    In November 2017 the Irish Commissioner, Phil Hogan, stepped outside his EU brief to demand that the UK must stay in the EU Customs Union and the EU Single Market, saying that Ireland would “play tough to the end” over the border issue and threatening to veto trade talks.

    (“The Independent”, Sunday November 26 2017, “Brexit: Remain in customs union and single market to solve border issue, Ireland’s European commissioner tells May”)

    And that is still the Irish government position now, with their Prime Minister Leo Varadkar telling the Irish Parliament on November 21 2018:

    “… the best outcome would be for the UK not to leave the European Union at all … An alternative solution would be for the UK to stay in the Single Market and the customs union,”

    Which is perfectly understandable, given the potential damage that Brexit could do to the Irish economy, but should serve to warn us that once the Irish government had succeeded in placing EU economic shackles on the UK through the presently proposed ‘backstop’ then it would never, repeat never, willingly agree to our release through any superseding agreement.

    Yours etc.”

    As usual I have included links to back up my claims, references which I need not repeat here because I have already offered them ad nauseam on this blog.

    1. Mark B
      February 22, 2019

      . . . Ireland would “play tough to the end” over the border issue and threatening to veto trade talks.

      To me it looks like someone holding a loaded gun to their own head and saying; “Nobody move, or I will shoot myself.”

      If we Leave without signing the WA, what then ? What are they actually going to do ? Close the border between NI and the RoI ? Fine, we will just close our ports to the RoI. Things like this are not going to happen. I can live without the UK and the EU signing a FTA. Most of our trade is done internally anyway.

      1. Denis Cooper
        February 22, 2019

        Well, that worked in Blazing Saddles.

    2. acorn
      February 22, 2019

      BTW. Windsor and Maidenhead voting ratio was 44.1 to 37.7 for Remain. Mrs May remains true to her constituents, unlike some MP I could name.

      Northern Ireland voted remain. Let them stay in the EU using the Territorial Application and Frontier Traffic clauses in WTO Art XXIV. Tell the UN we are not ceding territory just outsourcing administration. Scotland voted remain, I would give it the independence it craves, as long as it adopts the Euro currency.

      Then England and Wales can leave the EU and become either the Singapore of the North Atlantic; or, the North Korea. 😉

      1. Denis Cooper
        February 22, 2019

        Clearly you do not understand what is meant by a “national” referendum.

        1. acorn
          February 23, 2019

          The UK is not a “nation” state and never has been. It is a “multinational” state. Look at the mess we got into with English votes for English laws. There is no proper federal Constitution because England does not have “devolved” status. Time to break up this mess before Brexit does it.

          1. Edward2
            February 23, 2019

            Even the Scottish don’t agree with you.
            You may wish to break up the UK nation state acorn, but few do.

          2. Denis Cooper
            February 23, 2019

            I suggest you take a look at the Act of Parliament ordering the EU referendum.

  92. Brigham
    February 22, 2019

    turkeys voting for Christmas party.

    February 22, 2019

    My suggestion would be the EGOs BIGGER THAN ABILITY Party, perhaps combined with the ANTI – DEMOCRATIC, BUREAUCRATIC, SOCIALIST, CORRUPT EU PARTY.

  94. ian
    February 22, 2019

    Meantime in Tory party, it has slipt into four, the Mrs T May supporters who are following her whatever, the 100 MPs who say they will resign from the gov if there is no deal and do not get an extension to article 50, ERG which says they will vote the gov out of office if the gov does not leave the EU on 29 of March and inside that group some are willing to pay the 39 billion for a deal and some are not and then a few independents MPs.

    This how it always been in the Tory party behind closed doors, this is your first insight into what really goes on when policies get water down or thrown out and the fight that goes on behind closed doors to make policy for manifestos for you to vote on, that why you end up with policies from them you do not like and loads of your money get wasted on bad decisions.

    At the end of the day, all politicians are independent MPs, they choose to hide inside a party and be in a party so they can be assured of being reelected at the next election, the system keeps bad politicians in their seats.
    That why I would prefer all independent MPs in parliament and fight it out in parliament in plain sight on policies for the people and the country like is happening now, I sooner no policies coming out of parliament than a loan bad ones all of the time, that they tell you that you voted for them, when in reality all you have done is vote for a party.

  95. Julian
    February 22, 2019

    These independents are the Remain Party.
    Every time these centre-left breakaways happen the Liberals must wonder why they don’t just join them! The Liberal party could not be more Remain.
    I hope the new group forms a party because they are much more likely to split the Labour vote.

  96. Shieldsman
    February 22, 2019

    No to No Deal, How does that work? Its a conundrum Parliament cannot solve.
    Put simply you either have a Deal or you end up without a Deal, the NO Deal which you cannot remove.
    This is what the PM keeps saying – my Deal or NO DEAL.
    But she is not putting a Deal to Parliament. The diabolical Withdrawal Agreement is only a lead in to negotiations, in which the backstop guarantees the UK is in an EU Customs Union in perpetuity.
    Will that fine baritone voice find an answer to the conundrum? Highly unlikely.
    How will the meaningful vote on the draft Withdrawal Agreement fare next time around?
    No doubt with all the shenanigans going on in the Parties the 230 defeat will be whittled down, but by how much.
    Certain groups of MP’s no longer want to be blamed for their decisions. They want the acceptance of the Withdrawal Agreement to be put to the Public in a referendum after an extension to Article 50, but the wording is unknown.

  97. Jane
    February 22, 2019

    I suggest the UnDemocratic Party in other words the UDP or the Unelected Disillusioned Party!

  98. agricola
    February 22, 2019

    I trust very few of our political representatives, the visual, audio, or written media because they are at best ambivalent at delivering what was voted for in 2016. I believe the politicians involved in negotiating with the EU have been at best incompetent. Those that had some grasp of what was required were removed or bypassed. In effect a remain civil service in collaboration with the EU produced this dreadful WA, and the fanciful, interperet it as you wish, way forward on trade.
    The biggest mistake was to retain May. Should we get a WA minus the BS then the trade agreement, pre written as to what is required, must be negotiated by professionals because our civil service are way out of their depth and in any case institutionally ill disposed to a solution that suits the UK.

  99. Malcolm White
    February 22, 2019

    There’s quite an interesting parallel here for those who have left the Conservative and Labour parties, as has, perhaps, been noted elsewhere.

    While the individuals concerned have slightly differing reasons for having decided to leave, the fundamental essence behind their chosen departure is because their parties were moving in a direction that they could no longer support and that they’d found that their voices weren’t being heard. Sound familiar?

    So they made the decision to leave. Oddly, they weren’t asked by their respective parties to sign a restrictive agreement or pay a large sum of money to leave their club. They just left.

    It’s, therefore, quite hypocritical for any of them to stand up in Parliament and challenge the decision that 17.4 million voters took in the referendum by calling for a People’s Vote. Especially since there’s no indication that they’ll be holding by elections to ascertain their electorate’s view on their decision.

  100. Original Richard
    February 22, 2019

    I’ve heard it said :

    “There’s no point in voting as the Government always gets in”

    If our Parliament decides to betray the nation by voting that we cannot leave without a deal, meaning that either we never leave or we must accept Mrs. May’s surrender deal, then a new version will be :

    “There’s no point in voting as our Parliament will always ensure that the EU gets its way.”

  101. Atlas
    February 22, 2019

    The “EU Surfs” Party ?

  102. BR
    February 22, 2019

    Like most, I just call them the Tiggers. …………..since they keep jumping around the HoC – and from policy to policy, as long as it gets them elected.

    Other possibilities:

    The Traitors Party.
    The Tower of London Party
    The Soubriety Party
    The Selfie Party
    The Leave Party (since they left their own parties)
    The Remoaner Party
    The Utter Utter Party
    Teds in Rosettes party
    Michel’s Puppets (abbreviated to the Muppet Party)

    I could go on bu I’m having too much fun.

    1. mancunius
      February 22, 2019

      …or ‘Bears of Little Brain’, perhaps – to pursue the Pooh meme.

  103. Andy
    February 22, 2019

    It is really unfortunate and damaging to describe the MPs who have left their parties as the ‘undemocratic few’.

    For a start, you have no idea what most of them told their constituents ahead of the last election. They may very well have said they they do not fully agree with their national party manifesto position on Europe.

    And we know this is a perfectly fine stance because Mr Redwood told us it was what he told his constituents in 1987 when he, a Eurosceptic, was elected for pro-Europe party. Bill Cash, Bernard Jenkins, Christopher Chope, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Steve Baker, Peter Bone, Nadine Dorries – I can go on – all among the Conservative Eurosceptics who were elected (some repeatedly)to serve for a pro-Europe party. Were you all undemocratic too?

    And, no, you can say ‘but there was a vote….’ because there were repeated votes which applied to you too. One referendum and then NINE – yes NINE – general elections returning huge pro-Europe majorities over a 40 year period which you all ignored.

    I’m afraid your narrow win in 2016 on a Leave manifesto which you have miserably failed to deliver followed by a significant majority for soft or no Brexit parties in 2017 do not really give you a mandate to do anything more than whine about how embarrassingly badly your Brexit is going.

    Reply I call them undemocratic because they do not accept the results of the referendum and refuse to hold by elections to test support for their changed position. You are right in saying what matters is what they told their electors before the election. I do not recall most of these MPs saying they disagreed with their party manifesto on leaving the EU.

    1. Richard1
      February 22, 2019

      I think Anna Soubry did dissent from the leave policy. Sarah Wollaston on the other hand was selected as a candidate and elected on a strong eurosceptic platform and began the referendum campaign as a declared Leave supporter.

      I have to disagree with the view that any of the Conservative govts elected in recent decades were strongly pro-Europe. All were elected on platforms of ‘lets reverse or opt out of political integration / it isn’t going to happen’. Cameron was chosen as leader because of his supposed euroscepticism and then attempted to deliver a ‘reformed EU’ which of course he failed to do. So perhaps it is inevitable, coupled with the steady decline in relative importance of the EU to the UK economy, that people would eventually vote just to leave.

    2. Andy
      February 22, 2019

      That’s not true. They do accept the results of the referendum. They are, in fact, standing up for the Brexit 17.4m people were promises.

      These MPs accept that the definition of Brexit promised by Vote Leave in June 2016 was very attractive and won a small majority at the time. The MPs are simply waiting for you all to deliver the version of Brexit you promised you would – and we are now wondering why you can’t.

      What these newly independent MPs, rightly, do not accept is that Brexit should be significantly worse than voters were promised by Vote Leave. I think politicians like Michael Gove and Liam Fox and Chris Grayling and Andrea Leadsom and Penny Mordaunt who, in 2016 said what leave would mean, should get on and deliver what they said they would. Why won’t they?

      Brexiteers have spent a lot of energy getting angry at people over the last three years and surprisingly little energy in delivering on your promises. I didn’t make these promises remember. The official Brexit campaign did – a campaign packed full of leading Conservatives who continue to serve in high office. I want you all to get what you voted for. I wonder why you won’t get it?

      1. Al
        February 23, 2019

        Andy, it should be no suprise that a Remain Prime Minister is unwilling to deliver Brexit. What is most galling about the situation is that she coould do a good job and choose not to.

        A close second is having Remain try to tell Leavers what they voted for, and that it was really Remaining under another name.

        1. Andy
          February 23, 2019

          Mrs May has desperately sought a plan from the 17.4m which delivers on the fantasy unicorn Brexit they fell for – which is all the benefits of EU membership with none of the costs.

          In nearly 3 years not one of the 17.4m million has been able to come up with such a plan.

          I get that blaming Mrs May is easy for you. Admitting you were personally duped by the Brexit snakeoil salesmen is harder. But just because you can’t bring yourself to admit it, does not make it any less true.

          1. NickC
            February 23, 2019

            Andy, You are projecting. There is no unicorn involved with being as independent as New Zealand. Why? Because most nations in the world are independent of the EU, so it is reality.

            It is Remain that is a unicorn. Why? Because the EU keeps changing what Remain is. It is not stable, not fixed, and not under our control. It is ephemeral, like a unicorn.

      2. Edward2
        February 23, 2019

        It would be nice to deliver the version of Brexit that we were promised Andy but from the very first day after the referendum vote result was announced remain supporters in the UK establishment have conspired to frustrate that outcome.
        With MPs in Parliament voting to ignore the people’s vote it is impossible to achieve Brexit.
        We have remain’s version of leaving.

  104. forthurst
    February 22, 2019

    The Independent Group are principled: they love the EU and hate Britain which they seek to abolish. The Tory party, however, is infested with fifth columnists who are plotting to vote against the clearly expressed wish of the majority to leave the EU by removing our right to leave to trade under WTO terms.

  105. Hugomaximus
    February 22, 2019

    For your convenience – A summary of the most apposite so far:-

    PDP: The People’s Democratic Party
    UKDP: The UK Dependence Party
    QP: The Quisling Party
    HP: The Hypocritical Party
    UYP: The Up Yours Party
    LSP: The Lying Scumbags Party
    NP: Neverendum Party
    FIPP: The Flash in the Pan Party
    NTAWSP: The Never Trust Anything We Say Party
    …..Useful Idiots Party
    PSEUP: The Permanent Subjugation to the EU Party
    SLP: Sore Losers Party
    BTP: The British Traitors Party
    BHFYP: The Bite the Hand that Feeds You Party
    BBC: Brussels Before Country,
    NEP: The New European Party
    BP: The Blairites Party
    JMT: The John Major Tribute Party
    IADP: The Illiberal AntiDemocrats Party.
    EDP: The Extremely Dim Party
    LMRP: The “Leave Means Remain” party
    FUDP: Fed up with Democracy Party
    EUAP: The ‘EU Uber Alles party’
    WKBP: The We Know Best Party
    NAP: The Nietzschian Aristotcratic Party
    RP: Remoaners Party
    WKBSBEP: The We Know Better than the Stupid Bloody Electorate Party
    The “Oh Whoops I’m already starting to feel I might have made a big mistake ” Party
    “We’ll stamp our feet if we don’t get our own way ” Party
    The Betweenies Party

  106. Howdee dow
    February 22, 2019

    The twelve apostles come to save us

  107. Edwardm
    February 22, 2019

    Videos have surfaced which record Heidi Allen and Sarah Wollaston at election time saying they (to paraphrase) accept the referendum result and will not resist Brexit from happening.
    They are one strand of the many strands of duplicity displayed by Remoaner MPs in parliament. The remainer majority in Parliament no longer represents the people, whom they increasingly hold in contempt, through their sub-plots and machinations. It is depressing.
    Names for the new group could be

    Parliament Against the People
    Pawns of the EU
    Pigs might fly Are Us

  108. mancunius
    February 22, 2019

    The EU-dependent Group of Has-beens.

    EUGH for short.

  109. L Jones
    February 22, 2019

    Democratic Rejection and Eu Groupies’ Syndicate

    (antonym ”elite”)

  110. margaret howard
    February 22, 2019


    “The MPs that are defecting to the Independent group do not get on well with democracy. They all dislike the result of the People’s vote in 2016.”

    No – they haven’t ignored the over 16m who voted Remain against the over 17m leavers. That is NOT democracy.

    1. Fedupsoutherner
      February 22, 2019

      Margaret, you obviously haven’t got a clue how democracy works. Go back to school

    2. Martyn G
      February 22, 2019

      Perhaps you could explain exactly why a majority vote, with or without a small margin, can be said to be ‘undemocratic’? Perhaps you disagree with the result.
      Like most, I suspect, remainers, you would prefer repeated referenda (EU policy with form) until the results go your way?

      1. margaret howard
        February 24, 2019


        “, you would prefer repeated referenda (EU policy with form) until the results go your way?”

        You know full well what really happened in cases like Denmark and Ireland was that their concerns were addressed and the treaties were altered so that the electorate were able to give their approval.

        That’s how REAL democracy works.

  111. BR
    February 22, 2019

    The InSoubriety Party.

  112. NickW
    February 22, 2019

    The Tory defectors should be known as a bunch of Truly Independent Tories.

    The acronym would fit the bill perfectly.

  113. Denis Cooper
    February 22, 2019


    “Paisley expects EU to pressure Ireland to ‘move aside’ in Brexit talks”

    But I don’t expect that to happen, for at least five reasons:

    1. The EU is determined to set an example by giving the UK a “punishment beating”.

    2. In that context it does not see collateral damage suffered in Ireland as important.

    3. Theresa May supports the intransigent Irish position because it provides a pretext for keeping us under swathes of EU laws as she in any case wants.

    4. It is too late now for the EU to turn against the Irish government.

    5. In any case the EU is not willing to re-open the draft withdrawal agreement.

    But we shall see, over the coming weeks.

    1. Andy
      February 22, 2019

      The EU has said repeatedly – and it is right – that it has no intention of ‘beating’ Britain.

      It has simply locked at the red lines which YOU have set – and has ruled out the options which YOU have excluded.

      In then looks at one of the promises YOU have made and has seen how it contradicts the red lines YOU have set and has asked you how you intend to fix it.

      The EU has been waiting for an answer for 18 months.

      1. Denis Cooper
        February 23, 2019

        You should have paid more attention to my point 3, which is why we have not offered the EU a workable alternative during most of that period.

        As I said here on November 26 2017; and on this occasion I will crave JR’s indulgence and ask to repeat the whole of that comment while highlighting the penultimate paragraph:

        “On the TV this morning it was stated that the UK government is “desperate” to move on to trade talks, but this would be vetoed by the Irish government unless the UK government committed to keeping the UK in both the Single Market and the Customs Union.

        Apparently the latest threat on this matter has come from an Irishman who has forgotten that as an EU Commissioner he is supposed to be an impartial official faithfully serving the interests of the EU as a whole, not just those of his home country, a promise he made as part of his solemn oath of office.

        Whatever delusions the Irish government may entertain there is no political possibility of the UK remaining in either the Single Market or the Customs Union after leaving the EU, so there is now clearly no point in the UK even trying to negotiate any “special and deep” trade deal with the EU. And of course there was never any justification for paying the EU a bribe just to get trade talks started.

        So we should now say that rather than kowtow to the stupid destructive intransigence of the EU we will fall back on WTO trade rules and only seek agreements on the practical or technical aspects of continuing trade.

        That would do us some economic harm, although nowhere near as much as portrayed by the Remoaners, and it would do the other countries more economic harm, albeit it would be spread around among them, but on most projections the country which would suffer by far the greatest economic damage would in fact be Ireland.”

    2. Martin Conboy
      February 22, 2019

      Leo Varadkar will jump in whatever direction his masters in Brussels decide to kick him. £39bn up front, and a £90bn per amnum trade surplus is an awful lot of money to forego just to avoid the miniscule possibility of eating some smuggled chlorine-washed chicken.

      1. margaret howard
        February 24, 2019

        Unlike Mrs May Mr Varadkar (or any other EU leader) has stooped so low as to pay £1bn + Danegeld to buy ten votes to keep himself or his party in power.

    3. agricola
      February 22, 2019

      As you say we shall see.
      Failure on the part of the EU to agree to remove the BS or as a minimum render it sterile will lead as night does day to us leaving on 29th March and trading under WTO rules. Invoking Art 24 lf GATT halts any change in trading arrangements until a new trading agreement is reached. This can take up to ten years. Ten years of existing trade with the EU but no annual subscription. No payment of £39 billion divorce settlement. Freedom to trade around the World. We could make payment of the £39billion in whole or in part conditional on agreeing those aspects of the WA that are beneficial to both parties.
      Iwould think that the prospect of 10 years of trade talks while the UK enjoyed free trade minus any contribution might concentrate the minds of the EU.
      As an aside on trade with Japan. Until now we have traded on WTO terms. The new agreement between the EU and Japan allows us to trade on whatever the new rules are. If we leave the EU on WTO rules only our trading arrangement with Japan would be what it was a month ago. I point this out to negate all the cliff edge disaster drivel that is talked by totally ignorant politicians. The plus side of WTO terms with or without Art 24 is vastly greater than many would have you believe. We become our own masters again, those who cannot see this should step away from the plate and let those who can see the freedom to get on with the regeneration of the UK as a great free trading nation.

  114. margaret
    February 22, 2019

    I certainly cannot get personal because people have different views. What many are saying is offensive. If we listened to all the views about John for instance , he would not have any comments on his blog ..Think about John Majors opinion of Mr Redwood which the media made the most of. Most political comments are double edged , but we don’t need to join in any more than vote. It could be our family they speak and write about. This might sound rather simple , but personally I don’t like throwing mud.

  115. Simon Coleman
    February 22, 2019

    ‘Wasn’t the 2017 General election another vote on the EU? I remember the election being dominated by the Brexit issue.’ It wasn’t another vote on EU membership. It was a vote on the PM’s view of how we should leave. AND SHE LOST HER MAJORITY…and therefore her authority and the government’s authority. That meant that Parliament had to have a greater role in guiding the exit process – which is finally beginning to happen. You never wanted a meaningful vote. You claim to be big on parliamentary democracy – what a joke!

    1. Edward2
      February 23, 2019

      Guiding the exit process is fine Simon.
      Stopping it is not.
      “This is your decision. We will implement what you decide”
      Read the Leaflet.

  116. RF
    February 22, 2019

    New name = Group of Independent MPs (GIMPS)

  117. rick hamilton
    February 22, 2019

    The EUSELESS Party.

    Policies: Remain, Remoan, Resign, Rejoin, Repeat, ad nauseam.

  118. Lindsay McDougall
    February 23, 2019

    Just call them the Eurofanatics Party; that’s what they are.

  119. Adam
    February 23, 2019


  120. Nicholas Odoni
    February 23, 2019

    ‘Martin Conboy’ posted this earlier as the suggested new party’s name earlier, and I commend it, it’s wonderfully daft:

    The Demoral Libocrats.

    As he says, “It is a meaningless, confused mish-mash of a name, which makes it an excellent fit, IMHO.”

    I heartily agree with him.

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