Breaking news as South Cambridgeshire MP Heidi Allen quits Tory party

Gamlingay Village College Headteacher James Birkett and Heidi Allen, MP for South Cambridgeshire, with students at Parliament. PNL-160203-090619001
Gamlingay Village College Headteacher James Birkett and Heidi Allen, MP for South Cambridgeshire, with students at Parliament. PNL-160203-090619001

South Cambridgeshire MP Heidi Allen has quit the Tory party it has just been announced.

The MP, who was first elected in 2015 after 18 years in business, has defected to the newly formed Independent Group citing huge divisions in the Tory Party,

In a statement just issued, along with Anna Soubry and Sarah Wollaston, she said: “We no longer feel we can remain in the Party of a Government whose policies and priorities are so firmly in the grip of the ERG and DUP.

“Brexit has re-defined the Conservative Party – undoing all the efforts to modernise it. There has been a dismal failure to stand up to the hard line ERG which operates openly as a party within a party, with its own leader, whip and policy.”

She joins 8 former Labour members who have left their party this week.

In 2016 Mrs Allen was awarded the “Conservative Newcomer MP of the Year” in 2016 for her work in representing the vulnerable and marginalised. She was also instrumental in the Government agreeing to take in more child refugees displaced by the war in Syria and was recognised again for her work on this issue winning “Conservative MP of the Year” in 2017.