Reform UK is a right-wing populist political party in the United Kingdom which was founded as the Brexit Party in November 2018 and renamed on 6 January 2021. The Brexit Party was formed in January 2019 with twelve Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), all of whom were originally elected as UK Independence Party (UKIP) candidates.
The Brexit Party was led by one of these MEPs, former UKIP leader Nigel Farage, who announced he would stand as a candidate for the party in any future European Parliament elections, in the event the UK had not left the European Union.
2019 General Election
Nigel Farage committed the Brexit party to standing more than 600 candidates in the UK/2019 General Election, dismissing Conservative warnings that this could split the pro-leave vote as “conceited arrogance”.
On 4 November 2019, at a lavish campaign launch in central London, at which hundreds of new parliamentary candidates were paraded before the media, the party leader insisted he mainly hoped to take votes – and potentially seats – in strongly pro-leave Labour areas. “I think the Labour seats offer our best opportunity,” he said.
Farage will not stand for election, in what would have been his eighth attempt to win a Westminster seat. The decision has been criticised amid a tricky period for his new party.
Formally launched in January amid the deadlock of Theresa May’s premiership, the Brexit party took more than 30% of the vote in May’s European elections. But it has since slipped to as low as 10% in some polls, albeit with most showing it nearer 15%.
After speculation that the party could field only a couple of dozen candidates in Labour leave seats, Farage instead said it would contest every seat outside Northern Ireland, following the Conservatives’ dismissal of a pact based on pushing for a no-deal Brexit.
After Nigel Farage spoke, journalists were cleared from the hall in Westminster so prospective parliamentary candidates could be addressed privately on strategy by the party’s head of media, and by the former Tory MP Ann Widdecombe, then a Brexit party MEP.
In another room, officials had a table of nomination papers for candidates to fill in and sign. Nearby was a photographer with lights and a white backdrop to take official party photos. Candidates held a piece of paper showing their name and party number, so they could be correctly identified later.
|Michelle Dewberry||9 October 1979||A British businesswoman, stood now a TV presenter on GB News|
|Nigel Farage||3 April 1964|
|Document:Cognitive Dissidents?||Article||27 May 2019||Alun Smith||I voted remain but I would happily leave under a Corbyn government with a deal that protects our rights and our jobs. Isn't that the sensible thing to do now? Isn't that the compromise that can bring us all together again?|
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