AUTHOR JK Rowling and Countdown co-host Rachel Riley are reportedly in talks with Tony Blair’s former chief of staff, Jonathan Powell, about forming a new political party.

According to The Mail on Sunday, there was a secret meeting on Tuesday night in the central London offices of the Harry Potter author’s agent, Neil Blair.

The proposed party does not yet have a leader or a name but according to the paper there was applause after one audience member called for Rowling to take charge.

The Edinburgh-based writer, who is a staunch opponent of independence, has previously donated £1 million to Labour, however, she is no fan of Jeremy Corbyn’s position on Brexit.

Riley has long expressed concerns about how the party has responded to claims of anti-Semitism.

Around 50 people were at the meeting, during which Powell said Britain “desperately needs” a new political movement.

The paper’s source said: “There was a presentation which lasted for about 45 minutes and was followed by a Q&A.

The organisers emphasised the need for a charismatic leader for the party to succeed.

“But they made it clear they are unsure who that is at the moment. One attendee suggested JK Rowling – which got a large round of applause.

“They emphasised that a new centrist movement has the opportunity to attract people with a more nuanced approach to politics and life – and that is why they believe they can succeed where the SDP failed.”

News of the new party came as Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson revealed yesterday that one of the party’s branches is being investigated over a plot to “drive out” Jewish MP Luciana Berger.

Last week the Liverpool Wavertree Constituency Labour Party had planned to discuss a confidence motion on the MP, accusing her of “continually using the media to criticise” Corbyn.

Speaking on The Andrew Marr Show, Watson said Berger was “being bullied.”

He added: “That motion should never have been moved in her local party, the meeting to hear it should never have been scheduled.”

He said Corbyn had “made it clear these things are not done in his name”, and they “are not helping him, they are harming the reputation of the Labour Party”.

Watson added: “I don’t want any MP or any member of the Labour Party to feel they’re being bullied and driven out, and what’s happening to her is completely unacceptable, which is why I called for the local party to be suspended.”

He confirmed that the party’s general secretary is investigating.