Six MPs have split from Change UK just four months after the party was founded.
Among those to quit were interim leader Heidi Allen and party spokesperson Chuka Umunna. They were joined by Luciana Berger, Sarah Wollaston, Gavin Shuker and Angela Smith.
In a statement, the six said they would return to parliament as Independent MPs.
“We believe that our priority right now must be to provide collegiate leadership to bring people together in the national interest,” the group said.
“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”.
The move has left Change UK with less than half the MPs it once had, with just five politicians remaining.
Former Tory MP Anna Soubry has been announced as the new leader.
In a statement, Soubry said she was “deeply disappointed” by her former colleagues’ decision to leave.
“Now is not the time to walk away, but instead to roll up our sleeves and stand up for the sensible mainstream centre ground which is unrepresented in British politics today,” she said.
The news comes just four months after eight Labour MPs and three Tories defected in order to form the party, which was originally know as The Independent Group.
Who is left in Change UK?
- Anna Soubry (Conservatives)
- Ann Coffey (Labour)
- Mike Gapes (Labour)
- Chris Leslie (Labour)
- Joan Ryan (Labour)
Despite putting up candidates in all but one constituency, Change UK was hit by poor results in the European elections, with the party failing to win a single seat in European parliament.
With vows to secure a second referendum on Brexit, Change UK had hoped to attract pro-Remain voters.
However, they were outstripped by the Lib Dems, whose ‘Bollocks to Brexit’ campaign secured a fifth of all votes, coming second only to Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party.
Writing after the election, Umunna admitted that the party had “made some mistakes” during the campaign, calling for Remain parties to work together.