'New Centrist party' splits before launch

United for Change, the new centrist party started by LoveFilm founder, Simon Franks, which promised to unite left and right has suffered a split after the party's chief executive, Adam Knight, said he was leaving in order to start a rival movement.

Knight told the times that: “In the end United for Change considered two potential strategic directions,", and had chosen the one he had personally disagreed with.

"The first was to take advantage of political instability surrounding Brexit to launch a political party around which the public, and maybe existing parliamentarians, could congregate as quickly as the beginning of 2019, while the second was to take a longer look at what it might mean to develop a new type of political organisation.

Mr Knight added: "We tried for a while to see if the two approaches could coexist, but it became clear that, while overlapping in places, they represented a fundamentally different type of leadership, set of values, timeline, and programme of activity."

United for Change had reportedly secured over £50 million in funds, and was rumoured to be courting MPs from Labour, the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives.

While supporters have pointed to the electoral success of French President Macron's success in starting an entirely new centrist movement, in Britain there have been several attempts in the past two years to establish a new political party on the 'centre ground' of British politics, most have faded away quickly or suffered quick splits over policy and direction.

Indeed, United for Change has so far been unable to secure any high-profile defections, and the departure of its senior staff leaves it doubtful whether the project will be capable of achieving its aims of "re-aligning" British politics.

Recently Labour MP Chuka Umunna was forced to deny rumours that 'People's Vote', a campaign for a vote on the final Brexit deal which he chairs, was planning to form the basis of a rival party to Labour, describing the reports as "bollocks" in the Guardian.

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