And so, with little fanfare and somewhat inevitably, The Independent Group for Change (formerly Change UK, formerly The Independent Group) has announced the gradual cessation of all party activity.
In reality, the party was over the moment Boris Johnson successfully managed to engineer a general election, and probably well before then. Undoubtedly this announcement will be a bitter blow for the remaining handful of TIG faithful (no sniggering, please). The party promised a radical transformation of British politics. But these promises were somewhat undermined when TIG revealed that they had been forced to change their name following legal action by the petition website Change.org. The old Twitter account was then hijacked by Leave supporters. And this was all before the pocket party split back in July.
In fact, the real change came from within the Conservatives – a party that will likely shape British political life for at least a decade. Mr S has to wonder whether Anna Soubry is regretting her decision to jump ship…
Perhaps we should give Change UK, sorry, the Independent Group for Change, credit for calling it quits when the game is so obviously up. Better that than carrying on like some electoral zombie (looking at you, UKIP). Earlier this afternoon, the party’s Twitter account published this post:
We came together & took a stand when others wouldn’t. It was right to shine a spotlight on Britain’s broken politics. But having taken stock and with no voice now in Parliament, we begin the process of winding up our party. Thanks to all who stood with us. https://t.co/QjViYXoQir
— The Independent Group for Change (@ForChange_Now) December 19, 2019
In a statement, Anna told party members:
Honesty and realism are at the core of our values, and we therefore must recognise that the political uncertainty of recent months has now given way to a settled pattern in Parliament for the next five years. So this is the right time for us to take stock…
But as I say, we need to be realistic and therefore we have agreed to start the process of winding up the party. We have ended your monthly subscription and are beginning the process of closing down our office and organisation. We will contact the Electoral Commission to de-register as a political party…
In the meantime I want to thank my dear friends and colleagues Chris Leslie, Mike Gapes, Joan Ryan and Ann Coffey for their wisdom, advice and courage.
Surely a sad day for radical centrists everywhere…