The post-Brexit referendum transformation of British politics continued with the resignation of seven Labour MPs over Jeremy Corbyn’s handling of Brexit itself and so-called ‘anti-semitism’ within the party.
The seven MPs are led by Chuka Umunna and include Luciana Berger, Chris Leslie, Angela Smith, Mike Gapes and Ann Coffey. The final member of the (not so secret) seven is Gavin Shuker, who is considered by observers to be the main instigator behind the breakaway group.
All of them support a (rigged) second referendum on Brexit. They also condemn Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s refusal to get on his bended knee for Israel which many think triggered the long-running ‘anti-semitism’ row in the first place.
Despite individual Labour MPs resigning or being expelled over the last year for disparate reasons, this breakaway group of seven is the first parliamentary faction to take the plunge and taste political life outside the Labour party.
There is speculation that this parliamentary nucleus could eventually form a new party (backed by the likes of David Miliband and Tony Blair) particularly if dissident pro-EU Tory MPs also jump ship and the organisers seek some kind of electoral accommodation with the equally pro-EU Liberal Democrats.
One thing that could easily scuttle their plans is an early general election where they would struggle to make an impact despite the media hype around them and significant money power backing.
As political space opens up for a new pro-Brexit party, will the equivalent political space open up for a pro-EU party?
Watch this space.