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GAFFE-PRONE centre party Change UK has scuppered its claim to represent a new politics by choosing Boris Johnson’s sister as a candidate for the European elections, Labour MPs have said.
Change UK – The Independent Group announced today that Rachel Johnson would stand for the party in south-west England next month.
Ms Johnson cemented her super-posh credentials by editing The Lady, a women’s magazine popular with aristocrats, where she often wrote about her love of Agas – a brand of luxury cooker.
She has previously supported the Conservative Party and the Lib Dems.
Emma Dent Coad, Labour MP for Kensington, told the Morning Star: “Rachel has tried out many political arenas over the years.
“I hope she will find peace at last with her anti-Establishment colleagues in her new political home.
“Her years editing The Lady will have given her the inside knowledge and experience she needs to tackle the elite.”
Ms Johnson said in 2016: “A house is not a home without a dog and I once read (or may have even written myself) that ‘a house without an Aga is like a woman without a womb’.”
“I’m afraid I have two Agas. Both are cream. I don’t think I’ve ever disliked anyone who has an Aga.”
Speaking at the Change UK launch event in Bristol today, Ms Johnson said: “I’m sure that Boris understands why this is not a vote against Boris.
“This is a vote for change. We need to move the dial. People need to have a say.”
Reacting to Ms Johnson’s candidacy, Labour MP for Slough Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi said: “Brexit is something that has truly divided our country, tearing apart even families.
“While Rachel Johnson is standing to remain within the EU, the stance of her brother Boris Johnson has been something that has changed with the weather.
“We can’t rely on the Johnson family to resolve our nation’s predicament; only Labour can bring the country back together again.”
Change UK interim leader Heidi Allen MP said that her party would not back a vote of no confidence in Prime Minister Theresa May.
Dan Carden, Labour MP for Liverpool Walton, told the Star that Rachel Johnson’s candidacy was “another nail in the coffin of this flimsy Establishment rebranding exercise.”
He commented that Change UK would be “propping up a disastrous Tory government that has presided over almost a decade of depressed wages, falling living standards and record levels of poverty and homelessness.
“It’s laughable that a party calling itself Change UK is so nakedly committed to stopping change at all costs.
“Our country needs real, radical change to tackle the issues facing people today, not more tinkering around the edges of a system rigged in favour of an elite few.”
Lloyd Russell-Moyle, Labour MP for Brighton Kemptown, was similarly scathing.
“There is nothing new about the Establishment politics this party represents,” he said.
“None of these candidates challenge the pro-austerity nature of this government and I am confident that, given the choice, voters will reject this business as usual politics.”
Change UK only registered as a political party last week.
Its treasurer is Neil Davidson, a wealthy businessman and partner of former Tory MP Anna Soubry. According to the Sunday Times, he has previously taken part in a tax avoidance scheme.
The Greens has also slammed Change UK.
Molly Scott Cato, lead candidate for the Greens in the South West of England European Parliament constituency, said the new party was “a rebranding exercise for former Tory and Labour politicians who presided over cuts to public services and the relentless growth in inequality.”
Other Change UK candidates include Robin Bextor, father of the singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor; Warren Morgan, the former Blairite leader of Brighton council; and Victoria Groulef, an ex-Progress group member who called for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to stand down.
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