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Disgruntled Tories must join us too, urges Chuka Umunna

Seven up:
Chuka
Umunna
urged
Labour
and Tory
MPs to
join his
new
group PICTURE: PA

CHUKA UMUNNA has urged discontented Conservatives to join his new group of breakaway Labour MPs.

He said there were ‘clearly a lot of Labour MPs wrestling with their conscience, and Conservatives who are demoralised for the Ukip-isation, if you like, of the party’. He added: ‘If we’re to fix the broken politics, you can’t do that within the existing parties because they’ve become the problem.’

The 40-year-old rejected calls to fight a by-election for his Streatham seat in south London, saying: ‘In a parliamentary democracy you elect a person and then their party after.’

He told Chris Evans’ Virgin Radio breakfast show that after a good night’s sleep he was feeling ‘eight out of ten’ about his resignation. He admitted he hadn’t slept well the night before he and six other Labour MPs quit and formed the Independent Group.

‘It’s a big thing that we’ve done, and not a lot of people would do it,’ he said. ‘We all did it at the same time. Five minutes before, we were all sat round our laptops and iPads, ready to press the button. We had to put our values and principles ahead of our positions.’

When asked whether politics was done for, he said: ‘Democracy is not done for. If you are voting for a party just to keep out another party, that’s not good.’