Change UK: The absurd and the offensive, their greatest hits

By Alasdair Clark and Tom Flanagan 

From the absurd to the downright offensive, Change UK have given us a lot to talk about in the few short months that they have existed.

Race rows, name changes and that bus -The Red Robin takes a look back at the many blunders of Britain's new start up party of the centre.

9. Silence, exam in progress!

On a jaunt around the trendy West End of Glasgow looking for their middle class, professional voter base alongside Europhile students, Change UK ensured they won't be welcome back to Glasgow University.

Shouts of "Stop Brexit" and "vote for Change UK" took place near students taking part in exams, with many taking to social media to vent their frustrations at the distraction.

On this particular assignment, Heidi Allen and Chuka Umunna will be lucky to walk away with pass marks. 

8. Have the wheels fallen off?

We aren't sure what kind of brief the party's branding was based on, but if "general eyesore" was the aim for their bus for the Euro Elections campaign then it is one success they can claim.

Seemingly designed on Microsoft Word, the white bus is littered with random slogans and a make shift zebra crossing.

Owen Jones summed it up, saying the bus “accurately represents their political ideology". Vapid, empty and ultimately going nowhere, 

7. Party names are such a Westminster obsession.

As Westminster breathlessly awaited Chukka Umunna finally pulling the trigger on his new centrist party, it might have been a dissapointment to to discover its name would be The Independent Group, hardly one to rally the troops.

Fear not, the newspaper ink was barely dry before the party was re-named and Change UK was born.

What they lack in policies, they make up for in names.

6. The Peterborough By-Election

After a by-election was triggered in Peterborough, Change UK had an exciting opportunity to test the waters for any future Westminster election.

The Remain Alliance was formed, and talks between Change UK, the Greens and the Lib Dems promised a ‘remain alliance’ with Femi Oluwole, of the "Our Future Our Choice" campaign group, set to be the remain Unity candidate.

True to form, the remain alliance was plunged into chaos at the 11th hour after Change UK left their alliance partners with a bad taste.

The so-called unity candidate decided it was wiser to drop out and campaign for Labour, rather than split the left/liberal vote and allow a victory for Nigel Farage and  the Brexit Party.

The wounds of this hard remain split may take a while to heal.

5. Another one bites the dust

Continuing the trend for the party struggling to keep a hold of its candidates, Change UK's lead candidate in Scotland announced he would be stepping down to endorse the Lib Dems.

Chukka Umunna said David MacDonald had “let down his fellow candidates and activists”.

Which, of course, is something Chukka himself would never do.

4. Show us the money

As The Red Robin has reported, and despite their claims about wanting to change and modernise Westminster politics, Change UK have been busy courting donations from former Tory donors like Charlie Mullins, as well as former bankers and property tycoons.

3. The Polls

As The Brexit Party soared in the polls, Change UK have struggled to get their predicted support above three per cent.

A dissapointing start, but perhaps voters, will understand why those MPs who left the party banner they were elected under refused to call a by-election.

2.  Thoroughly vetted?

Outsourcing their candidate vetting to the media, Change UK forgot to check the chequered pasts of some of their MEP hopefuls.

24 hours after being announced as the headline candidate for CUK/TIG in Scotland, Joseph Russo was revealed to have made a plethora of offensive tweets.

Russo's ecclectic tweets included references to a “looney catholic”, gratuitous racism claiming he is scared of black woman and even criticism of the police for the arrest of Gary Glitter for historic child sexual abuse.

1.The Tingedependent Group

The first, the original, the worst.

Hours after their launch, the former Labour MP Angela Smith joined the BBC’s Politics Live show to talk about how racism had forced her to leave the Labour Party.

But millions were left astonished as Smith plunged herself into a race row, describing BAME people as having a “funny tinge”.

In one interview, Change UK made themselves look less about change and renewal, and more like an unwelcome throwback to a farcical and offensive 1970s sitcom. 

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