Labour donor and JML founder John Mills warns against attempts to create a new centrist political party

Mark Sands
Follow Mark
The Labour Leave Campaign Launches
The UK will head to the polls on 8 June. (Source: Getty)

Millionaire Labour donor John Mills has pushed back against suggestions that party backers should fund a new political organisation.

Reports in mid-May suggested that allies of former Prime Minister Tony Blair were drawing up plans to create a new party, while senior Lib Dem Vince Cable has predicted “serious conversations” after the election.

However retail tycoon Mills, who bankrolled the Labour Leave campaign ahead of the Brexit referendum, has warned Labour MPs against any move to split away from the party in its’ current form.

“I think the prospects of getting a successful split off party are very poor at the moment,” Mills told City A.M.

“The electoral system discriminates very badly against new parties.

"And there would be an awful lot of uncertainty over what do to help stimulate the economic recovery. I can't see a new centre party coming together with a coherent platform to deal with this,” he said.

“It seems to me a much more sensible policy is to see whether the Labour party will get done with its current phase and will return to something more central.”

Read More: Tory donations dwarfed the sums handed to Labour in early 2017

Mills’ comments come with Labour continuing to trail in polls ahead of next month’s general election.

Survey figures released over the weekend put Labour nine points behind the Conservatives following the launch of the Tory manifesto, “Forward, Together”.

Earlier this month former business secretary Vince Cable, who is bidding for re-election in Twickenham next month, said that after the June vote, “there will be serious conversations about where British politics goes and how you create you an alternative to the Conservatives which is... centrist, centre left, pro-business, practical, offering an alternative to what is potentially a very damaging form of Conservatism.”

Related articles