All Change: Change UK applies to change name after legal dispute

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The recent run of ill fortune for Change UK has struck again, with the breakaway political party announcing it will change its name once more after a legal challenge from the similarly named online petition website.

Change UK, which lost six of its 11 MPs last week, has applied to the Electoral Commission to be known as the Independent Group for Change, the party said in a statement.

The party was initially known as the Independent Group, or TIG, when seven Labour and four Conservative MPs left their parties in February. Ahead of the European elections, the group then sought to register as Change UK – the Independent Group.

However, this brought the promise of a legal challenge from the petitions website Change.org, which was founded in 2007. Change UK said it had previously agreed a deal under which the party name would be changed after the European elections.

It says Change.org is threatening to sue its MPs unless the party alters its name by 15 June.

Change UK – originally called the Independent Group – was formed in March by former Labour and Tory MPs.

In a statement, the party said it had agreed not to use the name permanently before May’s European elections after the threat of personal legal action against its MPs, as it had “no time left to register a new party name”.

It said it had since asked Change.org for more time to find a solution, but the website insisted the party must choose a new name “without delay”.

The party registered as Change UK in April, when its application was approved by the Electoral Commission, although its favoured logo was rejected.

It lost lost six of its 11 MPs earlier this month following a disappointing performance in the EU elections, when it failed to get a single MEP elected.

The party announced that Anna Soubry had been elected new party leader after its interim leader, Heidi Allen, was among those who quit.

Along with Ms Soubry – a former Tory minister – the remaining Change UK MPs are Chris Leslie, Joan Ryan, Mike Gapes and Ann Coffey

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