Pro-Brexit MPs quit UK's Conservative party

The newly formed centrist block totalling 11 MPs is now the fourth largest party in British parliament, alongside the Liberal Democrats.

However, he added that the government was "absolutely committed to avoiding (a no-deal) outcome and making sure that we get the deal".

"I'd like to be very clear that I have no issues with the Labour group or leadership and fully support the valued colleagues I have worked with over many years in such hard circumstances".

May said she was saddened by the resignations, but signaled she would press on with her attempts to win a deal before Britain is due to leave the bloc on March 29.

And he denied that the Conservative Party was being run by the hard line anti-EU awkward squad.

There have always been signs that voters' 2016 decision to leave the European Union could spark a major overhaul of British politics, because Brexit has split both the Conservatives and Labour down the middle into feuding pro-Brexit and pro-EU wings.

Khalid Mahmood, Labour MP for Birmingham Perry Barr, called Mr Austin's decision to quit the party "very sad".

A Labour Party spokesman said: "We regret that Ian Austin has left the Labour Party".

Prime Minister May has rejected claims the party has abandoned the centre ground in its pursuit of a hard Brexit
Prime Minister May has rejected claims the party has abandoned the centre ground in its pursuit of a hard Brexit

"Please, come join us", she said, predicting that more ministers in May's Cabinet would soon resign their posts - if not their parties - over the prime minister's handing of Brexit.

He also accused the quitters of "setting up a pro-austerity party".

"If there was a vote of confidence tomorrow would Parliament vote down the government?" "It makes an accidental no-deal Brexit fractionally less likely, too".

One suspects that if there is a centre-ground, it isn't "London's formula of economic and social liberalism", but the opposite: "tax-and-spend plus defence, law-and-order and patriotism - what is generally known, and dismissed with a sneer, as populism".

One minister who declined to be named, told Reuters prior to the defections that he was ready to vote against the government and face the sack if May hadn't made any progress on a deal.

Corbyn has appeared reluctant to back a second Brexit referendum. Several other have signaled publicly they could do the same. Lawmakers will have a chance to vote on what happens next.

The Independent Group's arrival in the Commons attracted widespread attention on social media as they posed for selfies and settled in.

The choice of the Evening Standard, which has not-so subtle sympathies toward a People's Vote, is a further dog whistle to those MPs; that whether Corbyn's heart is in it, he is coming around to their way of thinking. "As a result, we shall see how they get on". She added, "This is the right thing, it's not about numbers".

  • Leroy Wright