LONDON-Three lawmakers from Britain's governing Conservatives quit over the government's "disastrous handling of Brexit" on February 20, in a blow to Prime Minister Theresa May's attempts to unite her party around plans to leave the European Union.
The MP for Totnes was one of three former Conservatives who walked out of the party on Wednesday to join eight ex-Labour MPs in the newly-formed Independent Group (TIG).
"Following the European Union referendum of 2016, no genuine effort was made to build a cross-party, let alone a national consensus to deliver Brexit", they said.
British Conservative Party MPs Heidi Allen, Anna Soubry and Sarah Wollaston attend a news conference in London, Britain Feb. 20, 2019. Labour member Jean Fitzpatrick approached a stand to ask questions about Labour's support of a two-state solution with Israel and Palestine and was soon dismissed by Ryan. We don't have a party leadership determined to root out non-believers or asking supporters to acquiesce in something as shameful as anti-semitism.
His comments come with Labour deeply divided over the issue - which was partly responsible for the breakaway Independent Group of MPs quitting the party. Then it needs activists, MPs, AMs, MSPs, councillors and members from a wide variety of backgrounds to have their say and fight for their beliefs in that party and in our country.
The 2016 referendum that split the country 52-48 percent in favor of leaving also divided both main political parties, drawing a new battle line in parliament between "Leavers" and "Remainers" that cuts right through traditional party loyalties. But many others, while regretting that these three have made a decision to leave, will sympathise strongly.
Ian Austin has become the ninth Labour MP in a week to quit Jeremy Corbyn's party, claiming there was a "culture of extremism, anti-Semitism and intolerance".
The 11 MPs who resigned from Labour and the Conservatives to form the Independent Group understand the historic nature of the situation the United Kingdom is now in, with just over a month to go until our planned departure from the EU.
"Brexit has re-defined the Conservative Party - undoing all the efforts to modernize it", a letter to Theresa May said.
But if she is unable to put her deal before the House of Commons by next Wednesday, the prime minister has promised to allow MPs to vote on other options for Brexit.
May has faced a hard balancing act.
But Mandelson urged Labour MPs to remain in the party.
"And I think what's really anxious me about Theresa, and she has history in the Home Office that supports this, because I'm an old barrister, I look at the evidence, and I think she's got a problem with immigration".
Who else is in the Independent Group?
When a caller told Birmingham MP, Jess Phillips, she should quit the party for criticising Jeremy Corbyn, the free-thinking politician had the flawless comeback.