The Independent Group of pro-Remain MPs has been given a boost in its mission to fight the European Parliament elections by being granted official political party status.
It will be known as Change UK, after a watchdog stepped in to enforce rules blocking parties using “independent” in the title.
The party’s logo has also been rejected by the Electoral Commission as it is “likely to mislead voters” and includes a hashtag.
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Over 3,700 people have applied to stand as candidates in the upcoming Euro elections, which the UK will take part in if it is still part of the EU by 22 May.
Change UK will field up to 70 candidates in the European Parliament elections
Those selected by Change UK to fight for Britain’s 70 MEP spots will be unveiled – along with a new logo – at an event on Tuesday.
Heidi Allen, the former Tory backbencher who is now interim leader of Change UK, said she was “overwhelmed” at interest in running for the party.
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The South Cambridgeshire MP said it would send “a clear message in the European elections: we demand a People’s Vote and, if it is held, all our MPs will campaign to remain in and reform the EU”.
Becoming a political party means Change UK now has to file spending and donation information.
The party is campaigning for a referendum on Brexit
Previously the Independent Group was registered as a private company and so was exempt from the same rules as other groupings in parliament.
It was formed when eight Labour MPs broke away from the party citing concerns over antisemitism and Brexit.
They were Chuka Umunna, Gavin Shuker, Angela Smith, Chris Leslie, Luciana Berger, Ann Coffey, Joan Ryan and Make Gapes.
Three more Conservative MPs then splintered off to join them; Ms Allen, Anna Soubry and Sarah Wollaston.