Umunna joins Lib Dems after split from Change UK

The former Labour MP Chuka Umunna has joined the Liberal Democrats after splitting with Change UK, the party he helped create in February.

In a Times interview, alongside outgoing Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable, Umunna said he was wrong to believe there was a need for a new party in the centre ground and his new party had changed since their time in coalition with the Conservatives.

He said he came to the conclusion that “there isn’t room for more than one centre ground option” in UK politics and suggested that other MPs may follow his lead.

Umunna was one of six Change UK MPs to split with the party following its failure to make a breakthrough at the European elections.

Political commentators have suggested that Heidi Allen, former leader of the party, may also be “close” to joining the Liberal Democrats, alongside her former colleague Sarah Wollaston and Conservative MP for Bracknell Phillip Lee.

Vince Cable told the Times added there are talks with Conservative and Labour MPs about the possibility of defecting to the anti-Brexit party.

Speaking about conversations with Conservative MPs, he said: “I think there are probably a dozen to 20 who have mentally crossed the rubicon that they can’t stay in the Conservative Party in its current form.”

The defection from the MP from Streatham brings the total number of Liberal Democrats in Parliament to 12.

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