Speaking today, after the formation of a new Independent grouping of former Labour MPs announced this morning, Cllr Mark Hunter, Leader of the Liberal Democrats on Stockport Council and former Cheadle MP (2005-2015), said:
“The Labour Party has been hijacked by the extreme left, many of their members have been subject to vitriolic attacks and this split has been a long time coming. The recent handling of Brexit and antisemitism by the Labour leadership has clearly made the status quo impossible. I was delighted to see that the “magnificent seven” includes Ann Coffey, MP for Stockport.
“From my time in parliament I know that Ann is a person of great integrity and I commend her bravery on taking what must have been a very difficult decision. This is an important step for all seven MPs to leave Labour and set up a separate, breakaway Independent Group. I hope that we may be able to work together again in the future on the issues where we agree.
“Ann will face a challenging next few days, weeks and months. I offer her whatever support I can as she moves through this difficult period and I hope that the new group will recognise that their interests and those of the Liberal Democrats are very closely aligned. The party nationally has already announced that it will be engaging in talks with all other groups and individuals to progress giving people a final say on Brexit and the wider political agenda.”