Anna Soubry becomes Change UK leader after six MPs quit party

Anna Soubry has become the leader of Change UK after six MPs quit the party.

The former Conservative MP for Broxtowe is the second leader of the party in the four months since it was formed.

The newly formed party split as high profile figures like Chuka Umunna and ex-leader Heidi Allen walked out.

Along with former Tory minister Ms Soubry, the remaining Change UK MPs are Chris Leslie, who represents Nottingham East, Joan Ryan, Mike Gapes and Ann Coffey.

The split comes after the party, originally called the Independent Group,performed poorly in the European Parliament elections.

The six MPs who quit Change UK will now sit as independents.

Ms Soubry, who quit the Tories in protest at its Brexit stance, said:

I'm deeply disappointed that at such a crucial time in British politics our former colleagues have made this decision.

Anna Soubry - leader of Change UK

A joint statement from the six MPs leaving Change UK, tweeted by Ms Allen and Sarah Wollaston, said that the party had boosted the European Parliament campaign and turnout.

The MPs, who also include Luciana Berger, Gavin Shuker, and Angela Smith said they would be "supporting each other as an independent grouping".

The MPs added: "We believe that our priority right now must be to providecollegiate leadership to bring people together in the national interest.

"We know the landscape will continue to shift within the political environment and have concluded that by returning to sit as independents, we will be best placed to work cross-party and respond flexibly.

"We wish our colleagues well as they continue to build Change UK."