Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage and Chairman Richard Tice have applied to the Electoral Commission to change its name to Reform UK. The grassroots eurosceptic movement stunned the political world in 2019 after winning 29 seats in the European Parliament – just 10 weeks after being founded. In a move which is likely to send shockwaves through Westminster, Mr Farage has vowed to expand his fight beyond Brussels and challenge the Government on domestic issues here in the UK.
Mr Farage has stressed the need for “very radical reform” in British politics, and will start with changing the approach to tackling the coronavirus.
The leading Brexiteers argue “lockdowns do not work” and point to the average age of death from coronavirus of 82 – higher than the average life expectancy.
The new party will support a policy known as the Great Barrington Declaration, which advocates a return to normal life, with only the most vulnerable members of society shielding in lockdown.
In the Daily Telegraph, Mr Farage said: “We feel there is a massive political hole at the moment.
“The crisis has shown how badly governed we are – everything from our quangoes to the £12bn we have wasted on track and trace, to firms being given the most ludicrous contracts, to illegal immigration where we tough talk and nothing ever happens.
“The whole system of government in the UK is not working, and is therefore in need of very radical reform.”
Mr 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. The most urgent issue is a new coronavirus strategy so that we learn to live with it, not hide in fear of it.”
Mr Farage says Britain leaving the European Union has provided the platform for further change.
He added: “Brexit is about making us free, but beyond Brexit we have to be governed better.
“Brexit is the beginning of what we need. Brexit gives us self-governance – we now need to have good self-governance.”
The duo has also proposed reforms beyond COVID-19 and have vowed to shake-up the House of Lords, the BBC, the voting system, law, and immigration.
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A spokesman for the Electoral Commission said: “The Brexit Party has submitted an application to change its name to ‘Reform UK’.
“If we are satisfied the application contains all of the information required by law, it will be published online. The application has yet to be assessed, this may take up to six weeks.
“Applications to register a new political party name are subject to detailed assessment against the criteria set out in law.
“When we receive an application to register a new party name, the details of the new name are published online so members of the public can input their views.”