Labour rebels get backing from Tories

Three Tory MPs have left their party and joined the Independent Group set up by seven ex-Labour MPs. who quit their party at the start of the week. The three Tories cited the disastrous Brexit policy as the reason for their departure. Journalists are eager to see what the group of eleven rebels will be able to achieve in British politics.

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The Evening Standard (GB) /

A hunger for something different

The Independent Group's chances of success are good, The Evening Standard writes:

“The moderate middle of politics is being driven to despair by the risky obsessions of those on the extremes. There are lessons for both main party leaders - and if they don't learn them, as they probably won't, then voters might. The 10 per cent that the new group has already scored in one instant poll might not mean much yet but it is a sign that there is a hunger for something different, and lots of people will be watching and wishing them well.”

La Repubblica (IT) /

London going Italian-style

The situation in the UK is starting to resemble that in Italy, London correspondent Enrico Franceschini teases in La Repubblica:

“For a long time the rest of Europe envied Britain for its politics. They were marked by stability, pragmatism and a regular changeover of power between the two dominant parties, the Conservatives and Labour. The Italy of the First Republic and in later times too seemed like a recipe for chaos by comparison. But now London has begun to imitate Rome. ... The danger of even deeper cracks opening up in the two parties is by no means far-fetched. ... In the United Kingdom rather than just two parties we may soon see complicated Italian-style coalitions that aren't necessarily any more homogenous than ours taking turns in government.”

Tages-Anzeiger (CH) /

Labour's nerves frayed too

The seven resignations testify to the disgruntlement with Jeremy Corbyn's leadership, explains the Tages-Anzeiger:

“All that's clear for now is that these seven were dead serious about what they did. It wasn't just about the general political course or inner-party antagonisms. This was a swelling up of a concrete anger over new tendencies that have Labour in a fatal grip ever since Jeremy Corbyn took office in 2015. ... Basically these seven were saying what many of the party's members think. An overwhelming majority of Labour members want a new referendum. But Corbyn, who only wants Brexit, is playing deaf. Will the party take yesterday's split as a warning? In the minefield of Brexit Labour's nerves are frayed too.”

The Times (GB) /

Corbyn will never be prime minister

The Times shakes its head at the current state of Labour:

“Without doubt, the split makes it far less likely that Mr Corbyn will ever be prime minister. It shatters any lingering illusion that Labour remains a broad church that can accommodate a spectrum of diverse perspectives. It is a mark of how far Labour has drifted from its traditional moorings that the proximate cause of the split should be the rising tide of antisemitism in the party and the leadership's woefully inadequate steps to stamp it out.”

El Mundo (ES) /

Pact among rebels could serve as example

El Mundo takes a look at the rumours about the founding of a new party:

“The Brexit earthquake is having ever wider repercussions. With less than 40 days to go before Britain leaves, seven Labour MPs have abandoned the historic formation which under Jeremy Corbyn has drifted towards old-school left-wing extremism . ... Frustrated by Corbyn's refusal to defend Britain's staying in Europe and his pro-Palestinian stance, which they call anti-Semitic, these MPs are contemplating founding a new party that could also accommodate conservatives who are unhappy with May. It would be a platform of the pro-European centre that campaigns to avoid the extremes and overcome polarisation. An example that would also apply for Spain.”