Nigel Farage is relaunching the Brexit Party as the Reform Party, expanding its remit to post-independence issues including opposition to the coronavirus lockdown.
The former UKIP supremo, who led to Brexit Party to victory in the last European Parliament elections Britain was forced to participate in just weeks after its founding in 2019, had teased the move in a social media video shot in the United States, where he has been on the campaign trail with his friend and ally Donald Trump.
“I’m here in Washington D.C. We’re two days away from a presidential election; it’s now being completely dominated by the COVID-19 crisis,” Farage said.
“Here’s the interesting point: Joe Biden very much takes the line there’s going to be a long, dark winter coming, and that America needs to lock down further. That’s his pitch to the American people, that they’ll be safer under him.
“Trump takes the completely opposite view; he says that lockdown leads to economic disaster, leads to mass depression, and leads to vast numbers of people losing their jobs, losing their job security, their general sense of wellbeing,” he continued.
“At least in America, they’ve got a choice; at least in America they’re having a debate, because we are locking down from Wednesday — this has been decreed by Boris Johnson — guess what? [Labour leader] Sir Keir Starmer 100 per cent agrees, as do all the other politcal parties represented in Westminster,” he explained.
Farage suggested the parliamentary vote on a second lockdown was a mere formality, and that the British public could expect to see just a few token rebels among the Tory parliamentary party while the others will get “bribed” or “blackmailed”, and expressed concern over the health impact of focusing on the coronavirus while diabetes, lung cancer, and heart disease victimts, for example, are neglected.
He also expressed concern for “the self-employed, the sole traders, people running little businesses, people running small restaurants” who will be hammered by a second lockdown.
“I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: this second lockdown says to me the cure is now worse than the disease, and the frustration that’s being felt out there by people that there’s no political voice out there articulating that — well, I think that may change very soon,” he said.
There is no political voice opposing this new national lockdown in England. I think that may change very soon. pic.twitter.com/0mJ0WFfXDP
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) November 1, 2020
Hours later on Sunday night the veteran campaigner fulfilled his own prophecy with the announcement of the Reform Party, broken by The Telegraph, accompanied by a joint article penned by himself and Brexit Party chairman Richard Tice.
“We want to be known as the party of Reform. The name reflects the ambition: Reform UK,” the pair declared, vowing to take on “vested interests” including the BBC and the House of Lords and tackle perennial issues such as immigration and electoral fraud.
“Badly run, wasteful quangos are in abundance. The Home Office is not fit for purpose. This Government has taken cronyism to a whole new level. Waste of taxpayers’ hard-earned cash is off the scale,” they said.
“But the single most pressing issue is the Government’s woeful response to coronavirus,” they asserted, decrying its “strategy” of “terrify[ing] the nation into submission” as it awaits a vaccine.
“The consequences to wider health and the economy have been devastating. Suicides are soaring, from students imprisoned in halls of residence to 88-year-old ladies who cannot see their relatives and naturally wonder: what is the point of life?” they wrote, adding that “Lockdowns don’t work: in fact, they cause more harm than good.”
WATCH: 104-year-old Woman Locked Down in Care Home for Months Begs to See Family https://t.co/HQZaDxFsnK
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) October 24, 2020
The pair went on to pledge their support for the Great Barrington Declaration, signed by 11,621 medical and public health scientists and 33,141 medical practitioners as of the time of publication, who believe that the current approach to coronavirus control has resulted in “worsening cardiovascular disease outcomes, fewer cancer screenings, and deteriorating mental health – leading to greater excess mortality in years to come, with the working class and younger members of society carrying the heaviest burden.”
“The most compassionate approach that balances the risks and benefits of reaching herd immunity, is to allow those who are at minimal risk of death to live their lives normally to build up immunity to the virus through natural infection, while better protecting those who are at highest risk,” the Declaration suggests, calling its favoured strategy “Focused Protection”.
“Reform is the only significant political party that supports the Great Barrington Declaration,” Farage and Tice emphasise.
“We are showing the courage needed to take on consensus thinking and vested interests on Covid. But there are so many areas of public life that can be improved to benefit ordinary people. That is why we will campaign for Reform.”
UK Police: It's Your 'Civic Duty' to Inform on Fellow Britons Breaching Lockdown https://t.co/SFVEnJn2b6
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) October 31, 2020