Brexit Party and Change UK The Independent Group promise to shake up politics – with the sisters of leading Tories
The political parties representing leave and remain campaigners launched their candidates for the European Parliament election yesterday, promising to provide an alternative from the traditional parties.
Both Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party and Change UK The Independent Group, formed by disillusioned Labour and Conservative MPs, paraded candidates that included the sisters of prominent Conservative Brexiteers.
Boris Johnson’s sister Rachel, a Remain-backing journalist, is standing for Change UK, while Annunziata Rees-Mogg, an ex-Conservative candidate and sister of Tory Eurosceptic Jacob, is among those selected by the Brexit Party.
Both parties pledged to change politics, claimed to be speaking for mainstream Britain and claimed their candidates were from all walks of life. Neither had a manifesto of policies.
Change UK’s interim leader Heidi Allen - a former Tory MP - said 3,700 applications had been received to stand for the party, and described the group as the “home of the Remain alliance.”
Candidates also included former BBC Newsnight presenter Gavin Esler and former Conservative cabinet minister Stephen Dorrell.
"I have joined this Remain alliance for three reasons – stop Brexit, fix Britain and move on to reform the EU," said Esler.
Brexit party candidates include Television pundit and former Revolutionary Communist Party member Claire Fox, ex-soldier James Glancy and charity boss Matthew Patten.
“I’ve spent my life fighting for left-wing causes, so I can tell you no one is more surprised than me to be standing as a candidate for Nigel Farage’s Brexit party,” said Fox.
“To be honest, Nigel and I are unlikely to agree on a range of issues… but on the key question of implementing Brexit, no ifs, no buts, on the crucial issue of honouring democracy, Nigel and I agree wholeheartedly.”
Farage said: “I did say a few years ago that I would do my best to cause an earthquake in British politics and I think given the current aftershocks I had some success with that agenda.
“But this is far more upbeat, far more optimistic and far more ambitious. This is about changing politics for good, changing the shape of our political parties.”
Farage led UKIP to electoral success in the 2014 EU election, where the party won 24 seats. However, since then all but four have quit the party. UKIP will also field candidates in the forthcoming election.
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