Renew party to target Remain-voting Tory councils in London

Sandra Khadhouri, James Clarke and James Torrance at the launch of new political party Renew. Photog

Sandra Khadhouri, James Clarke and James Torrance at the launch of new political party Renew. Photograph: PA. - Credit: Archant

The Renew Party, an anti-Brexit political party, is making its first electoral manoeuvre by targeting Remain-voting Conservative seats.

Nine of the 16 candidates being fielded by the Renew party in the English council elections on May 3 are standing in the south London borough of Wandsworth, which recorded one of the strongest Remain votes in the 2016 referendum.

Wandsworth is also a key target for Labour, which is hoping to end Tory rule in the borough - once known as Margaret Thatcher's favourite council - for the first time since 1978.

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The area has been identified as fertile territory for the anti-Brexit message after it voted 75% against EU withdrawal, with 118,463 Remain backers to 39,421 for Leave.

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Conservatives hold 39 of the 60 seats on the council, where Renew secured its first representation in local government when former Tory James Cousins switched to the new party last month.

Renew founder Chris Coghlan is standing in Wandsworth, alongside Mr Cousins and seven other candidates.

Mr Coghlan said: 'We're noticing much stronger support as the most active anti-Brexit party here.

'People are angry and turning away from the Conservatives and Labour with their hard Brexit positions. They're coming to us as a serious and credible alternative.'

Renew is also contesting seats in London's Tower Hamlets, Ealing, Hounslow and Greenwich councils on May 3, as well as North Tyneside in the North East.

Founded last autumn, Renew says it aims to deploy 650 candidates in any future general election and will campaign to remain in the EU in any vote on the final Brexit deal.

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