The website for the new Independent Group of MPs repeatedly crashed in the hours after its launch, apparently overwhelmed by the number of people trying to view it.
In an appeal to voters to back the new group, Chuka Umunna said: “We don’t have the big money or infrastructure of the political parties. All we can do is direct you to our website. Please sign up.”
Those who got through to www.theindependent.group found a professional-looking website, with the slogan “Politics is Broken. Let’s Change It.” over an image of leafy housing estates set among sun-drenched green fields.
The site provided an opportunity to read the group’s Statement of Independence, sign up as a supporter or donate funds.
But many of those attempting to access it were frustrated as they encountered error messages reading “503 Service Unavailable” or “Error 504”.
The mishap was seized upon by Labour-supporting Twitter users, with one branding them “amateurs”.
And the Independent Group themselves admitted the “overwhelming show of support” after the launch had been “challenging” for their website.
Meanwhile, a spoof Twitter feed was immediately set up under the handle @The_Indie_Group, using the group’s logo to send out messages like “We consider ourselves to be post-blairite waffle actually” and “We reject all ideology. Anything we campaign for, we will also campaign against.”