Westminster is still reeling from the EU referendum result: Labour are facing a leadership contest, Theresa May replaced David Cameron at the top of British politics and her new government are attempting to organise the UK's split from Brussels. It's certainly not business as usual, and this chaotic political environment has seen a new movement emerge.

More United UK, which already boasts 15,000 supporters, was launched by former Liberal Democrat leader Lord Paddy Ashdown over the weekend. The grandee revealed the group's name was inspired by the maiden speech of late Labour MP Jo Cox. Ashdown also explained the organisation would use crowd-funding to help finance candidates across the party divide so long as they support a set of "fundamental beliefs" (see below).

"This movement gives voice to the voiceless who want to hold this country in the centre and gives them the financial and manpower ability, leverage to make sure they get their way with candidates selected from any party," he told BBC One's Andrew Marr show.

Businesswoman Martha Lane Fox and Historians Dan Snow and Simon Schama are just three of the famous faces supporting the self-styled "political start-up", but some less well-known figures are behind its creation.

Professor Maurice Biriotti, the chief executive of consultancy firm SHM and the founding trustee of the SHM Foundation, serves as a director for More United UK, according to documents filed at Companies House. The former full-time academic has also reportedly given the Women's Equality Party "financial support".

Austin Rathe also serves as a director. The Everton football fan was a Liberal Democrat staffer for years before leaving his role as head of members and supporters for the party and becoming an associate (digital) for PR firm the Brunswick Group at the start of this year.

Rathe now provides "strategic communications advice to a range of FTSE 100 and other high-profile corporations", according to his LinkedIn profile. Elizabeth Mayhew is also listed as a director and a "communications professional" in the documents filed at Companies House.

More United UK's principles

  • A fair, modern, efficient market based economy that closes the gap between rich and poor and supports strong public services
  • A modern democracy that empowers citizens, rather than politicians
  • A green economy that protects the environment and works to reverse climate change
  • An open and tolerant society where diversity is celebrated in all its forms
  • A United Kingdom that welcomes immigration, international co-operation and a close relationship with the EU