DOZENS of Labour and Tory MPs are plotting to split from their parties to form a new anti-Brexit alliance, Sir Vince Cable revealed.
In an interview with Metro, the Liberal Democrat leader said at least 20 Labour MPs were planning to defect, with many more considering following them.
Six Tory backbenchers were also lining up to join and several cabinet ministers have also shown interest, he said.
They would form a cross-party alliance, rather than setting up a new, separate political party, which risked getting ‘crushed’ at the ballot box.
‘There will have to be a convergence of people coming together, with us very much in the middle of all that, when the day of reckoning comes,’ said Sir Vince.
His claims came as Theresa May met rebel MPs from both the pro- and anti-Brexit wings of her party for talks, as they formed an alternative arrangements working group.
These included Brexiteers Steve Baker and Iain Duncan Smith as well as Remainers ex-education secretary Nicky Morgan and former deputy prime minister Damian Green.
Sir Vince’s latest comments go further than the ‘significant’ block of MPs plotting a breakaway he referred to in yesterday’s Metro.
He said: ‘I think all the key people involved on the Labour and Tory sides are giving top priority to stopping Brexit, but there’s a drum beat in the background of people who are preparing for a new life ahead.
‘There’s this hardcore of six who have already got one foot out of the Labour Party.
‘And as many as 20 who say they could go with us on a good day, and there’s potentially a lot more who have given up on Corbyn’s leadership.’
Sir Vince continued: ‘On the Tory side, there are four, five or six who face reselection battles in their own constituencies and a much wider group who’ve said they may break ranks if we get into a no-deal situation — including cabinet ministers.
‘It’s crucial we work together because under the first-past-the-post system smaller competing groups can get crushed.’
A Labour insider hit back, saying: ‘A new party to protect the status quo will rightly be seen as an establishment stitch-up.’
The Tories were asked for a comment.
Emerging from the working group talks last night, Mrs Morgan said: ‘It’s been very constructive, we’ve made progress.’
Mrs May is due to present an amended version of her Brexit plan to the Commons on Wednesday next week.