03:16 GMT +325 June 2019
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    Chuka Umunna MP (left) is one of the seven who have quit the Labour Party

    British Parliament Could See Rise of First Non-White Party Leader

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    If the newly formed Independent Group, comprised of Labour and Tory defectors, becomes a formal political party, it could be led by Chuka Umunna MP, of Nigerian and Irish descent.

    The 11 MPs — eight ex-Labour and three ex-Conservative — have been assigned roles, with Chuka Umunna named as the group's Spokesperson.

    In the current distribution of seats in the Parliament, the Independent Group has the same number of MPs, as the third largest party, the Liberal Democrats. In terms of numbers, it also is ahead of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which props the current Conservative government following the 2017 snap election.

    The roles allocated to the Independent Group MPs are the following:


    • Heidi Allen: welfare and pensions, social care, and business
    • Luciana Berger: home affairs, health, and digital and culture
    • Ann Coffey: children and education
    • Mike Gapes: foreign affairs and defence
    • Chris Leslie: Treasury and trade
    • Joan Ryan: group business manager and international development
    • Gavin Shuker: group convener
    • Angela Smith: transport, local government and housing, and energy, environment and rural affairs
    • Anna Soubry: Brexit and justice (and assisting on defence)


    "The roles and responsibilities we have assigned recognise that all the members of our group have the right to be heard and a responsibility to provide leadership. Our structure is designed to be flexible to accommodate any changes as the group evolves and grows," Mr. Umunna said.

    The IG says it aims to mend the "broken politics" of Britain, deal with the issue of Brexit and "consider the best interests of the country above short-term party-political considerations."

    A recent YouGov poll suggested that if the IG made it to the voting ballot, the voting intention would be skewed with some numbers grabbed by the new party from Labour, Conservatives and smaller parties in the Parliament. 


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