THE Barrow and Furness MP has joined a new group of parliamentarians.

John Woodcock has joined up with a group of MPs known as the Independents.

The group is described as "a co-operative of politicians working together" in the Commons, rather than a new party.

Mr Woodcock was elected as a Labour MP in 2017 but left the party in July last year following claims he sent inappropriate messages to a former female member of staff, which he denies.

He joins Luciana Berger, Heidi Allen, Gavin Shuker and Angela Smith as founding members. They were all formerly of the Change UK party.

The Independents, which includes former Conservative and Labour MPs, are said to united around 'core values' but would not always vote in the same way.

Mr Woodcock said: “This new grouping will be a good chance for the growing number of independent MPs to co-operate on issues that benefit their constituencies and the country.

“I left the Labour Party because helping Jeremy Corbyn to become prime minister would devastate Barrow shipyard and put our national security at risk, but I remain as determined as ever to stand up for the people of Barrow and Furness in Westminster.

“I am always prepared to work across party lines when it is in the interests of the area, as we did on building the consensus to renew Trident and deliver a new maternity unit for Furness General hospital. Rather than being a new political party, the Independents grouping is designed to make it easier for people with diverse views to work together to get things done which is what so many voters tell me they want their politicians to be doing.”