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Brexit Party relaunch group has bank account shut down

Metro Bank’s decision ‘based on politics,’ claims party leader Richard Tice

Adam Forrest
Sunday 08 August 2021 11:41 BST
Richard Tice, leader of Brexit Party successor party Reform UK
Richard Tice, leader of Brexit Party successor party Reform UK (PA)

The group formerly known as the Brexit Party has been told that its bank account will be shut down because it is no longer “commercially viable”.

Richard Tice, who leads the relaunched Reform UK, said the move by Metro Bank was “outrageous” – and claimed the decision was politically motivated.

The Brexit Party was relaunched as anti-lockdown party called Reform UK in November 2020 and has since campaigned against the government’s Covid restrictions.

But the party’s leader admitted it would struggle to operate, after receiving a letter from the Metro Bank in July that said the party’s account would be shut down in 60 days.

Mr Tice told the Sunday Telegraph that Metro Bank’s decision was “based on politics” and “the difficulty for banks of being involved with politically exposed persons and political parties”.

“It is absolutely outrageous,” he said. “We are fifth in the polls. It’s not like we’re extremist zealots. We got 300,000 votes in the May elections.

“If we’re a proper functioning democracy then new disrupters need to be able to operate. You can’t operate if you don’t have a bank account that you can pay bills with.”

The politician claimed four high street banks had turned down the Brexit Party when in was set up by Mr Tice and Nigel Farage in November 2018 before Metro Bank agreed to become its banker.

Mr Farage – who stood for election to the UK’s parliament seven times without success – announced in March that he was stepping down as leader of Reform UK to pursue his media career.

“I feel my political career, in the sense of actively leading a political party, fighting election campaigns, I think now’s the moment to say I have done it.”

Metro Bank’s 27 July letter to Reform UK stated that “after careful consideration, we are unable to continue to act as your bankers”.

In a statement, a spokesman for the bank said: “We regularly review our customer accounts and close those which are no longer commercially viable.

“The decision to close the Brexit Party account was made for commercial reasons only as a business as usual decision. Metro Bank is and will remain politically neutral.”

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