More United

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More United
Founded 24 July 2016 (2016-07-24)
Headquarters London[1]
Membership (2016) Increase 70,000+[2]
Ideology Pro-Europeanism
Progressivism
Environmentalism
Political position Centre
Website
www.moreunited.uk

More United is a cross-party political movement in the United Kingdom. It describes itself as a "tech-driven political startup" that supports candidates regardless of party affiliation.[3] The movement advocates public service investment, democratic reform, a green economy, tolerant society, and co-operation with the EU. The movement currently has 100,000 supporters and has so far crowdfunded over £500,000. In the 2017 general election, More United helped elect 34 MPs from 4 different parties, by providing donations and mobilising volunteers across the UK.

More United takes its name from the maiden speech delivered by Jo Cox, a British MP who was murdered in June 2016.

Values

The movement says it will support any candidate from any party who backs its values and pledges to advance them in Parliament:[4]

  • Opportunity: we need a fair economy that bridges the gap between rich and poor.
  • Tolerance: we want to live in a free, diverse society where our differences are celebrated and respected.
  • Democracy: we want you to have real influence over politics.
  • Environment: we must do everything possible to tackle climate change and protect our environment.
  • Openness: we welcome immigration, but understand it must work for everyone, and believe in bringing down international barriers, not raising them. We also want a close relationship with Europe.

History

Following the result of the 2016 UK referendum on EU membership, in which the country voted to withdraw from the European Union, there was considerable media discussion concerning the future of the British centre ground.[5][6] Press rumours of a split in the Labour Party had occurred since Jeremy Corbyn's election as leader in 2015; this intensified after pro-EU members of his shadow cabinet resigned in protest of his allegedly weak support for the Remain campaign, leading to a leadership challenge by Owen Smith. The Conservatives also faced the prospect of an ideological split, as some pro-EU Conservatives feared the potential consequences of Andrea Leadsom defeating Theresa May in the leadership election;[5] Leadsom ultimately withdrew from the race, handing unopposed victory to May. Paddy Ashdown, the former leader of the Liberal Democrats, wrote an article in The Times accusing both parties of failing to provide reasonable solutions to the issues afflicting communities across Britain.[7]

More United was founded in July 2016 by a team drawn from business, academia, and politics: Austin Rathe, Bess Mayhew, Corinne Sawers and Maurice Biriotti.[8] They received support from cross party MPs, led by Paddy Ashdown.

Election Campaigns

Richmond Park by-election, 2016

More United voted to support Liberal Democrat candidate Sarah Olney, who subsequently defeated the incumbent MP, Zac Goldsmith, in December 2016.[9]

2017 general election

On 23 November 2016, More United launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise money to help support candidates. By 22 December, the campaign had raised £274,164.[10]

Candidates endorsed by More United
Candidate Seat Party Announced Result
Amna Ahmad Sutton and Cheam Liberal Democrats 4 May 2017[11] 2nd
Rosena Allin-Khan Tooting Labour Green tickY
Kelly-Marie Blundell Lewes Liberal Democrats 2nd
Jack Dromey Birmingham Erdington Labour Green tickY
Liz Kendall Leicester West Labour Green tickY
Stephen Kinnock Aberavon Labour Green tickY
Clive Lewis Norwich South Labour Green tickY
Vix Lowthian Isle of Wight Green 3rd
Caroline Lucas Brighton Pavilion Green Green tickY
Ian Lucas Wrexham Labour Green tickY
Tessa Munt Wells Liberal Democrats 2nd
Gareth Thomas Harrow West Labour Co-op Green tickY
Ruth Cadbury Brentford and Isleworth Labour 8 May 2017 Green tickY
Jane Dodds Montgomeryshire Liberal Democrats 2nd
Andrew George St Ives Liberal Democrats 2nd
Mark Hunter Cheadle Liberal Democrats 2nd
Peter Kyle Hove Labour Green tickY
Norman Lamb Norfolk North Liberal Democrats Green tickY
Alison McGovern Wirral South Labour Green tickY
Ian Murray Edinburgh South Labour Green tickY
Anna Soubry Broxtowe Conservative Green tickY
Jo Swinson East Dunbartonshire Liberal Democrats Green tickY
Sophie Walker Shipley Women's Equality 4th
John Woodcock Barrow and Furness Labour Co-op Green tickY
Vince Cable Twickenham Liberal Democrats 18 May 2017 Green tickY
Alistair Carmichael Orkney and Shetland Liberal Democrats Green tickY
Gloria De Piero Ashfield Labour Green tickY
Christine Jardine Edinburgh West Liberal Democrats Green tickY
Rachel Reeves Leeds West Labour Green tickY
Elizabeth Riches North East Fife Liberal Democrats 2nd
Jo Roundell Greene Yeovil Liberal Democrats 2nd
Gavin Shuker Luton South Labour Co-op Green tickY
Chuka Umunna Streatham Labour Green tickY
Chris Bryant Rhondda Labour 24 May 2017 Green tickY
Daisy Cooper St Albans Liberal Democrats 2nd
Stephen Doughty Cardiff South and Penarth Labour Co-op Green tickY
David Lammy Tottenham Labour Green tickY
Sue McGuire Southport Liberal Democrats 3rd
Jonathan Reynolds Stalybridge and Hyde Labour Co-op Green tickY
Owen Smith Pontypridd Labour Green tickY
Jamie Stone Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross Liberal Democrats Green tickY
George Turner Vauxhall Liberal Democrats 2nd
Geraint Davies Swansea West Labour Co-op 2 June 2017 Green tickY
Seema Malhotra Feltham and Heston Labour Co-op Green tickY
Sarah Olney Richmond Park Liberal Democrats 2nd
Emma Reynolds Wolverhampton North East Labour Green tickY
Tulip Siddiq Hampstead and Kilburn Labour Green tickY
Andy Slaughter Hammersmith Labour Green tickY
Mark Williams Ceredigion Liberal Democrats 2nd

Issue-based Campaigns

Following the 2017 election, More United conducted UK-wide and online consultations with supporters to identify their priorities for the movement. The issues supporters identified as being the most important to campaign on were the NHS, equality and Brexit. More United has since selected its campaigns based on this information.

NHS/Brexit Campaign, 2018

In February 2017, More United launched a campaign to secure a Parliamentary debate on how Brexit will impact the NHS, arguing that the government has not given this question sufficient consideration. Thousands of supporters were mobilised to contact their MPs in support of the campaign, which led to 47 MPs from five parties submitting a request for a backbench business debate. That debate was held in Parliament on 22nd March.

Campaign to restore the Access to Elected Office Fund, 2018

In April 2018, More United supported the launch of a legal challenge against the government, led by three deaf and disabled candidates of different parties, all of whom are also Members of More United. The focus of the challenge was to get the government to restore a Fund that existed from 2012-2015 to help deaf and disabled candidates of all parties, at all levels, with the extra costs of standing for election. The Fund was frozen and placed under review in 2015, but no findings from the review or a decision on the Fund's future had been published in nearly three years. More United launched a campaign alongside the legal challenge, with thousands of supporters signing a petition to get the government to restore the Fund.

This campaign received endorsement from 19 of the UK's most prominent deaf and disabled people, who came together from across the realms of business, entertainment, academia and politics to publish an open letter of support in The Sunday Times. The campaign also received backing from three disabled MPs from three parties. Labour MP Marsha de Cordova, Liberal Democrat MP Stephen Lloyd and Conservative MP Robert Halfon co-wrote a letter to the Home Office asking for the immediate restoration of the Fund.

Convenors

In addition to its founders, a number of prominent public figures have endorsed the movement's launch so far, with the following being listed as the organisation's Convenors:[12]

See also

References

  1. ^ "MORE UNITED LTD - Overview (free company information from Companies House)". Beta.companieshouse.gov.uk. 2016-07-19. Retrieved 2016-11-12. 
  2. ^ "Support the Movement - More United". Moreunited.uk. Retrieved 2016-11-19. 
  3. ^ Shead, Sam (24 July 2016). "Paddy Ashdown has launched a tech-driven political startup called More United that will crowdfund MPs across all parties". Retrieved 24 July 2016. 
  4. ^ "Our Principles". Retrieved 24 July 2016. 
  5. ^ a b Daniel Boffey and Toby Helm (9 July 2016). "Pro-EU Labour and Tory MPs look at forming a new centrist party". The Guardian. 
  6. ^ Matthew Turner (12 July 2016). "Here's why a new party of the centre-ground is doomed to fail". The Independent. 
  7. ^ Paddy Ashdown (3 July 2016). "Parties fail to feed the public's hunger for a solution". The Times. 
  8. ^ http://www.moreunited.uk/team
  9. ^ "Richmond Park By-Election Explained". Retrieved 4 December 2016. 
  10. ^ "More United Crowdfund". Retrieved 29 December 2016. 
  11. ^ Josiah Mortimer (4 May 2017). "More United name progressive candidates in line for share of £80,000". Left Food Forward. 
  12. ^ "The team". Retrieved 18 January 2017. 

External links

  • Official website
  • The Convention on Brexit - part organised by More United
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