It is no surprise that people are seeking an alternative to “broken, failed Westminster politics”, Nicola Sturgeon has said.
Eight Labour MPs and three Conservatives have this week announced they have quit their parties to join a new independent group.
Frustrations over Brexit and the respective leaderships of Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn were cited as key reasons for their departure.
Speaking on Wednesday in Glasgow, the Scottish First Minister said Labour and Tories at Westminster had pandered to those with extreme views.
“Both the Tories and Labour are imploding at the moment and that’s because their leaderships are pandering to extremes,” said Ms Sturgeon.
“On the issue of Brexit, neither are showing any leadership whatsoever.
“So it’s not surprising that people are looking for an alternative to broken, failed Westminster politics.
“In Scotland of course they’ve got that alternative in the form of the SNP, but outside of Scotland it’s no surprise that people are looking for something different.”
The resignations of the three Conservative MPs on Wednesday brought the total number of MPs in the new Independent Group to 11 – the same number of Liberal Democrat MPs and one more than the Democratic Unionist Party.
However, Ms Sturgeon indicated it is not yet clear whether it would be possible for the group to attract support.
The First Minister said: “I don’t know if this group of independent MPs will be able to put forward any kind of coherent or attractive policy platform, but nevertheless I do understand why many people want something different from the failed Westminster Labour-Tory approach.”