Co-operative party MPs seek more distinct identity within Labour

’s group of 27 Co-operative MPs are to step up efforts to develop a distinctive voice in parliament, working as a bloc this week to move amendments and start debates on issues from savings to the crown estate.


Harrow West MP Gareth Thomas, the party’s chair, said the MPs wanted to “help the centre-left regain its confidence and the political initiative after Brexit”.


More than 20 MPs sit in the Commons on a joint Labour and Co-operative ticket from across the political spectrum in the party, including the shadow international development secretary, Kate Osamor, shadow City minister Jonathan Reynolds and backbenchers Stella Creasy and John Woodcock.


MPs in the Co-operative party said privately they felt there was “plenty of political space” to act on their own initiative, with the party machine still recovering from the turmoil over the summer.


However, the party’s MPs have repeatedly stressed that they do not wish to break away from Labour, a suggestion that was mooted in reports during the party’s leadership crisis over the summer.



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