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The Brexit party has applied to the Electoral Commission to change its name to Reform UK in a bid to rebrand the party, which has no elected representatives, as a voice in the anti-lockdown movement.
The party’s leader, Nigel Farage, and chairman, Richard Tice, first announced the plan in a joint article in the Telegraph where they wrote it was “time to redirect our energies”. The name change is subject to approval of the commission.
The Brexit party gained 2% of the vote in the 2019 general election, and none of the 275 candidates it stood won a seat.
Prior to the December election, Farage had announced the party would change its name following the UK’s exit from the European Union and focus on campaigning for changes in the electoral system.
In a statement on Sunday announcing the plans to rebrand the party, Farage said: “As promised, we continue to keep a very close eye on the government’s trade negotiations with the EU, to ensure a proper Brexit. Further reform in many other areas is also vital for our nations’ future.”
Tice 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.”
He said that a new strategy was needed for tackling the coronavirus so that “we learn to live with it, not hide in fear of it”.
The idea of ending the Covid pandemic through herd immunity was recently denounced as “a dangerous fallacy unsupported by scientific evidence”, by 80 researchers who wrote a warning letter in a leading medical journal.
The Brexit party announcement comes as England prepares to enter a four-week nationwide lockdown on 5 November, a decision which has angered some Tory MPs, with prominent backbenchers including Sir Graham Brady warning they are likely to vote against the new restrictions.
MPs will vote on the second lockdown on Wednesday as experts warn that the daily death toll could reach as high as 4,000 by Christmas if swift action is not taken.
Announcing the decision on Saturday evening, Boris Johnson said that if nothing is done the country faced a “peak of mortality” worse than that of the first wave in April.
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Reform UK: Brexit party to rebrand as anti-lockdown voice | Politics