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Westminster shake-up gathers pace

Previous attempts to realign Westminster politics through the creation of new groupings have experienced considerable difficulty surviving even a single general election, as the demise of the Social Democratic Party – launched by high profile figures in a blaze of publicity during the 1980s – demonstrated.

Some scepticism was expressed when seven Labour MPs initially defected to form an independent alliance earlier this week, but the decision yesterday by three prominent women to leave the Conservative benches and join them suggests that the initiative is capable of making a wider impact.

It has been pointed out that, with an eighth Labour member also coming on board, the new partnership already has more representatives in the House of Commons than the DUP, of which it has been directly critical

Sustaining the project will not be easy, but the shambolic performance of both the Conservative and Labour leaderships over the Brexit crisis has undoubtedly created an opportunity for fresh thinking.

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