Former Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown has started a new political movement called MoreUnited.uk that plans to raise money for MPs across all parties through crowdfunding, providing they sign up to a set of principles.
Launching on Sunday, MoreUnited.uk describes itself on its website as “a new movement setting out to change British politics.”
The organisation’s website reads: “We’re going to transform the way politics is funded, giving a voice to the millions of open and tolerant people in Britain who feel the political system no longer works for them.
“Our aim is to enable people like you to participate in and change politics in a way that has never been possible before. We’ll do this by using the power of the internet to transform the way politics is funded, making it easier for moderate, progressive MPs to get elected and creating a new centre of political gravity in the UK.”
MoreUnited.uk wants to use crowdfunding to raise money for parliamentary candidates across all parties and constituencies, providing they support a certain set of principles if elected. Here are those principles:
Many of MoreUnited.uk’s principles are similar to those of the Liberal Democrat party but Ashdown insisted on “The Andrew Marr Show” on Sunday morning that the new organisation is not a political party. Instead, it is describing itself as a “political startup” that wants to create a cross-party movement.
“The final decisions on who we support will always be made by our members,” according to the More United.uk website. “If there are two candidates signed up to MoreUnited.uk’s principles beliefs in one parliamentary seat, our members will have final say over how we support them.”
The name More United deliberately references murdered MP Jo Cox’s maiden speech in Parliament in which she said, “what surprises me time and time again as I travel around the constituency is that we are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.”
More United.uk has got the backing of a number of several well-known individuals in the tech community, including lastminute.com cofounder Martha Lane-Fox and Stemmettes founder Anne-Marie Imafidon, who are both acting as governors of the new organisation.
Any UK voter or UK based organisation can join More United.uk, including those that are already members of another political party.
Within hours of launching, over 5,000 people had pledged their support to the new political movement, which said it plans to start crowdfunding in September, if it has generated “sufficient support.”
Among the early supporters are TechCrunch editor Mike Butcher and philosopher Anthony Grayling.
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