Three MPs quit Tory party to join Independent Group

The resignation letter in full

Tory split Heidi Allen Anna Soubry and Sarah Wollaston resignation letter in full

The new group is not yet a party, but the group of rebels sat on the independent benches of the House of Commons on Wednesday.

It found that 14% would support the new group, while the Conservatives had 38% of the vote, Labour 26% and the Liberal Democrats 7%.

Earlier this week seven MPs left Labour in protest over the party's issues with anti-Semitism and Brexit to form the new grouping.

On the formation of the Independent Group, Mr Benyon said: "It's been much talked about so it's not a surprise".

Claims the pro-Brexit ERG group of Tory MPs is "running the party from top to bottom" are "absolute nonsense", a Wales Office minister has said.

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And he warned more MPs could quit because they think Mr Corbyn is unfit to be Prime Minister. "More Labour voters voted for Brexit than Conservative voters, if you go into the hard Labour areas in the north".

Speaking about his former colleague from the Parliamentary Labour Party, Casale said: "John McDonnell MP has always been a great campaigner for the rights of EU27 citizens even from before the referendum".

"I hope the Conservative Party are able to heal their difficulties". "This problem simply did not exist in the party before his election as leader".

The ninth MP to quit Labour this week has told LBC: "I joined the party to fight racism, I never imagined I would be leaving because of racism".

Nevertheless, the only thing that explains their timing is Brexit, which they want to stop, says Tim Stanley in The Daily Telegraph.

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Speaking about the latest developments, Roger Casale, the former Labour MP and founder and CEO of New Europeans said: "The withdrawal agreement can not be renegotiated - the EU has made that clear". Britain's Brexit secretary, Stephen Barclay, and Attorney-General Geoffrey Cox went back for a fresh round of talks with European Union chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier in Brussels on Thursday. Because we believe that a truly one nation Conservative government is the way to be open-minded and generous in social policy, realistic in economic policy and internationalist in foreign policy.

Prime Minister Theresa May has rejected claims the party has abandoned the centre ground in its pursuit of a hard Brexit, pledging to continue to offer the "decent, moderate and patriotic politics that I believe the people of the United Kingdom deserve".

"I am saddened by their decision but I am determined that the Conservative Party will survive this".

Those who have resigned have long accused May of leaning too far towards Brexit supporters, sticking to red lines which they, and many in Labour, say have made a comprehensive deal all but impossible to negotiate. They oppose everything that we stand for.

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The pair also noted discussing "the role alternative arrangements could play in replacing the backstop in future". Instead, May is set to ask for legally binding assurances that the backstop will not be extended indefinitely.

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