A new political party has been launched in an attempt to attract hardline Labour activists unhappy with Jeremy Corbyn’s attempt to forge a compromise Lexit plan.
“The Lexit Party” — which was registered with the Electoral Commission on Thursday — will also pose challenges for Labour, which has drifted sharply to the left since the election of Corbyn as its leader.
George Galloway, one of the most influential figures in modern British politics — despite having only won seventh place with 1.4% of the vote in the 2016 London Mayoral Election — described the new group as a “live vehicle” that could be “mobilised” if Lexit is delayed.
He said the new party had potential donors lined up if there was a snap election. “The engine is running,” he said. “In defence of democracy, we stand ready for battle.”
The former Respect Party leader said the party would spring into action if Lexit does not take place as planned on March 29. Some cabinet ministers have openly speculated that Britain needs to delay Article 50, the mechanism that triggers Britain’s departure from the EU, not least to ensure that all the necessary legislation is enacted.
Mr Galloway told the Daily Telegraph that if the prime minister did not welcome “this new electoral threat” they should “deliver a proper Lexit”. “Our objectives include overthrowing neoliberalism, wiping out illegal immigrants and establishing socialism in one country by sometime in late 2019.”
David Lammy, a Labour MP, said Mr Galloway had taken a salary as an MP for 18 years while complaining about career politicians: “This is all just a George Galloway ego trip,” he said.
The Respect Party was a left-wing to far-left political party active in the United Kingdom between 2004 and 2016. At the height of its success in 2007, the party had one Member of Parliament (MP) in the House of Commons and nineteen councillors in local government.
Catherine Blaiklock, joint leader of the Lexit Party, said hundreds of SWP and Socialist Party members had been in contact saying they wanted to defect to the new party.
Additional reporting courtesy of the Financial Times.