Nigel Farage says Reform’s ‘real ambition’ is the next general election

Politics

Nigel Farage has acknowledged Reform UK will not form a government after 4 July – but said the general election campaign is the “first big push” towards the next contest.

Launching his party’s offer to the electorate – which he is calling a “contract” rather than a manifesto – Mr Farage said his campaign has “momentum” around the country, including the support of a “rapidly increasing” number of 18 to 24-year-olds.

Speaking in Merthyr Tydfil in South Wales, he said there had been a “breakdown of trust” in politics and hoped Reform would “establish a bridgehead in parliament” to “become a real opposition” to a Labour government.

Nigel Farage launches Reform's election pitch. Pic: PA
Image:
Nigel Farage launches Reform UK’s policy document in Wales. Pic: PA

“We are not pretending that we are going to win this General Election, we are a very, very new political party,” he said.

“This is step one. Our real ambition is the 2029 general election. But this is our first big push.”

Mr Farage earlier confirmed his ambitions to become prime minister at the next general election, which could be in 2029.

Reform’s policy document runs to 25 pages – compared with 133 published by Labour – with the first two of the party’s five core pledges on immigration, including promising to freeze “all non-essential immigration”.

The party claims it will “stop the boats” in their first 100 days in power, with a four-point plan that would involve leaving the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), with zero illegal immigrants being resettled in the UK, a new government department for immigration, and migrants crossing the channel in small boats being returned to France.

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‘We’re unashamedly radical’

The other three core pledges ask voters to “imagine no NHS waiting lists”, to “imagine good wages for a hard day’s work” and also “imagine affordable, stable energy bills”.

Reform are also promising a raft of tax cuts, including raising the minimum threshold of income tax to £20,000 a year, abolishing stamp duty, and abolishing inheritance tax for all estates under £2m.

The party plans to fund its policies by abandoning net zero targets, the introduction of an immigration tax, and through £50bn savings on “wasteful government spending”.

On health, Reform wants to create an “NHS voucher scheme” for private treatment if people can’t get seen by a GP within three days and to hold a public inquiry into excess deaths and “vaccine harms” from the COVID vaccine.

Further offers include ditching all net-zero policies, ending “woke” policing, and legislating for “comprehensive free speech” that promises “no more de-banking, cancel culture, left wing hate mobs or political bias in public institutions”, as well as stopping “sharia law being used in the UK”.

Sky News’ deputy political editor Sam Coates questioned Mr Farage over the proposed additional £141bn of spending every year, asking: “The scale of this is deeply unserious, isn’t it?”

Mr Farage said the plan is “radical, it’s fresh thinking – it’s outside the box”.

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