The heir-to-Blair Conservative Party wouldn’t be happy “until every woman is out at work”, Reform UK spokesman Ann Widdecombe tells Breitbart London, the latest pushback against a world view that sees humans as featureless, interchangeable GDP-generation units.

Nigel Farage’s Reform UK is surging in the polls for next month’s snap general election and as it presents itself as the credible party of opposition to hold the all-but-inevitable Labour administration to account, it has been talking about a party platform of policies broader than its usual bread-and-butter of border control and Brexit. One of these areas that presents potentially fertile ground to Reform, which self-evidently is not hidebound by Westminster dogma or the dreaded so-called ‘Treasury orthodoxy’ is family policy, which matters a great deal to many voters but struggles to get even a mention in the political discussion in normal times.

As it is, the governing Conservatives have hammered families for 14 years through the tax and benefits system, setting up some truly perverse incentives and outright punishing traditional family formation. Reform UK spokesmen talking to Breitbart News assert they understand the problem and are “on a journey” on the issue.

Ann Widdecombe, a British political veteran who served in the 1990s Conservative government of John Major and who reached a whole new audience decades later by competing in Strictly Come Dancing was a Brexit Party Member of the European Parliament and is now easily one of Reform UK’s most familiar faces and effective campaigners. Amid sometimes dry discussion of economic policy or withering attacks on the betrayals of the voting public by her former party the Tories, nothing seems to animate Widdecombe as much as the raw deal families have got from the government.

It’s a subject she’s been banging the drum on for years, she told Breitbart News this week, while highlighting the anti-traditional family rules baked into the British system. Illustrating the point, Widdecombe pointed to the absurdity where one example family with a lone breadwinner earning above the income limit would have child-focussed benefits withdrawn, while a second family with two working parents each earning below the cap, but combined taking home considerably more than the first would keep all their government handouts.

This principle also applies to the tax system itself, where a family with one high-earning parent in work and another at home doing the important but unpaid work of raising children pays considerably more tax than two working parents earning the same amount between them.

Widdecombe said this system is “wholly wrong because that is penalising the family that says ‘one of us is going to raise the kids, the other is going out to work’, it could be either way. It actually penalises that family which want to bring their children up as once we all took it for granted that we would bring our children up.”

These deficiencies in the system are not quirks or unintended consequences, she said, remarking: “I feel very strongly, I’ve been saying this for a very long time, that the Conservatives have been anti-family for a very long time.”

The purpose of the system is to force women into work, even if given the choice they’d prefer to spend more time with their own young children, rather than farm them out to day-care. Of this obsession in the Conservative party with mothers as economically inactive or a drag on the economy, Widdecombe said: “I got the impression Cameron and Osborne wouldn’t rest easy until every woman was out at work… they’re never going to be happy until every woman is out at work.”

As for answers, Reform say their plan to offer a major tax cut to working people and reducing pressure on housing by cutting immigration will help families and they also want to introduce a “25% transferrable marriage tax allowance”. Establishing itself as the most obviously pro-family party in the British political space and using the language of pro-family activists, the Reform ‘contract’ published this week stated the party “will support family formation and give parents back control… The majority of mothers would choose to stay at home more if they could.”

Reform Parliamentary Candidate for Taunton Charles Hansard told Breitbart the government should get out of the way to what extent it can, but also “reincentivise a structure” where a traditional family is a realistic option for those who want one, rather than an expensive, unattainable dream. He said: “don’t create barriers around it… create a nice positive so those who can follow that path feel they are doing so for the right reasons.”