Newly-formed political party Change UK: The Independent Group will compete in Thursday’s elections.

The British electorate is set to head to the polls for the European Parliamentary Elections. And there are two newly-formed political parties competing with very different views on Brexit.

Change UK: The Independent Group, formed by several defecting Labour and Conservative MPs, will lock horns with The Brexit Party on Thursday.

In this article, we focus on Change UK. What are its key policies? Who are the top candidates? We take a look…


Change UK’s interim leader is Heidi Allen until the official meeting in September. Allen is a former Conservative member and the MP for South Cambridgeshire.

Many expected Chuka Ummuna to be the leader. He is currently the spokesperson but could take the full-time job in September.

Current seats in the European Parliament

Change UK did not exist when Britain last voted in the European Elections in 2014. But the party has since gained one MEP.

Richard Ashworth was voted in as a Conservative MEP but he has now defected to Change UK.


The Independent Group was initially formed by seven breakaway Labour MPs who had grown disillusioned by Labour’s handling of Brexit and rife antisemitism under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn. TIG was later joined by another Labour MP and three Conservative MPs, who had similar concerns about Theresa May’s stance on Brexit.

Ahead of the European Elections, the group applied to the Electoral Commission to become an official political party. Under the interim leadership of Allen, Change UK heads into these elections as underdogs pushing their anti-Brexit agenda. Unfortunately for Change UK, their success might be limited by Remainers having to choose between this party, the Lib Dems, Labour and the Greens, while Brexiteers are more likely to vote for the Brexit Party.

Key policies

Change UK was formed by pro-Remain MPs and the party will push that agenda in these elections. The main policy is that Change UK will push for a People’s Vote. The party wants the UK public to have the final say on any Brexit deal put forward by the government or to have the option to reverse the decision of the 2016 referendum and remain in the EU.

At this stage, Change UK has not published any other policies. Brexit remains the main priority and that will be the sole focus of this campaign.

Top candidates

Gavin Esler is arguably the biggest name on Change UK’s list. The former BBC journalist has joined Change UK to stop Brexit and he is the top candidate for London.

Rachel Johnson, the sister of prominent Tory politician Boris Johnson and daughter of ex-MEP Stanley Johnson, is another candidate. The journalist is the top South West candidate for Change UK.

Richard Ashworth is the top candidate for the South East. He is the only incumbent Change UK MEP and he goes head-to-head with Nigel Farage of the Brexit Party.