Nigel Farage rebrands Brexit Party as anti-lockdown Reform UK

‘There is now a political choice on lockdown’, former Ukip leader says

Vincent Wood
Monday 02 November 2020 10:24 GMT
Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party seeks name change

Nigel Farage is to relaunch his Brexit Party as an anti-lockdown party called Reform UK as he campaigns against measures imposed by the UK government to slow the spread of coronavirus.

The party has submitted papers requesting the name change to the Electoral Commission. In an article in the Daily Telegraph, Mr Farage and party chairman Richard Tice said they would adopt an anti-lockdown platform to give a “political voice” to opponents of Covid-19 restrictions.

“There is now a political choice on lockdown and we wait to see whether we get a genuine Brexit," Mr Farage wrote on Twitter. “Beyond that, our whole system of government is not working and needs wholesale reform.”

The former Ukip leader, who absconded to form his own Brexit Party after the EU referendum delivered the result he had spent his political career campaigning for, has stoop for election to the UK’s parliament seven times without success, most recently in 2019.

The party contested 275 seats but took only 2 per cent of votes in last year’s election and did not succeed in getting an MP into the House of Commons.

Mr Farage has since served as a radio host for LBC but parted ways with the station  after comparing Black Lives Matter to the Taliban  and in recent week has appeared at US president Donald Trump’s election rallies.

Responding to the Brexit Party’s name change, Conservative MP Bim Afolami told BBC’s Westminster Hour: “Nigel Farage is obviously bored of drumming up support for Donald Trump, so he needs to do something”

In a clip posted to Twitter before the announcement, Mr Farage said there was “no political voice opposing this new national lockdown in England”.

“Frankly I’ve had enough of lockdown” he said in the video, which was recorded in the Benjamin Bar & Lounge at Donald Trump’s Washington DC hotel.

Brexit Party chairman Richard Tice, who worked alongside Mr Farage on the Leave.EU campaign, added: “The need for major reform in the UK is clearer now than ever.

“A new approach is essential, so that government works for the people, not for itself. The most urgent issue is a new coronavirus strategy, so that we learn to live with it, not hide in fear of it.”

It is not the first time Mr Farage has floated the rebrand. In December he said the party could become the “Reform Party” if the UK left the EU on 31 January.

He revealed he had already registered the name and added it would “have to campaign to change politics for good”.

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