Richard Tice replaces Nigel Farage as leader of Reform UK
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
Richard Tice has replaced Nigel Farage as leader of the anti-lockdown party Reform UK.
Farage told the media over the weekend he was stepping back from active politics after 30 years of campaigning.
The former UK Independence Party and Brexit Party leader is set to become an "honorary president" of the campaign group instead.
He tweeted: “I won’t be involved in elected politics any longer, but I’m not going to go away from fighting the big battles of the day.”
He told The Sunday Telegraph: “This has taken away the better part of my adult life.”
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He added: “When you are an insurgent anti-establishment group, the people at the top have to raise the money, organise the discipline and do the whole thing, and I’m done.”
The Brexit Party became known as Reform UK after a name change earlier this year after taking just 2% of votes at the last election and failing to elect an MP.
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On the news Farage was stepping down from politics, MEP Guy Verhofstadt quipped: "Brexit has few silver linings".
He continued: "No one misses Nigel Farage's delusional speeches that Brexit will lead to the collapse of the EU... quod non!
“EU taxpayers certainly won't miss his work ethic either!”
Former Brexit Party chairman Tice took to Twitter to praise the Brexiteer.
He commented: "Nigel played the critical role in securing our exit from EU and I pay massive tribute & thanks to him. An honour to have helped a bit and also to now lead the Reform Party into future."
In his first press conference, Tice has called for a £48 billion “stimulus” package to restart economic growth in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
He condemned chancellor Rishi Sunak’s tax-raising Budget and called for personal allowances to be raised to £20,000 and £70,000 for basic and higher rate taxpayers and the corporation tax threshold to be lifted to £100,000.
“It is vital to reform the way the economy is taxed in order to drive growth,” he said.
“Last week’s catastrophic Budget showed no ambition and will drag the UK back into another decade of low-growth austerity.
“The UK now has the highest taxation for 70 years and the lowest growth for 60 years. It is morally indefensible to drag another 1.3 million of the lowest paid into society into paying income tax when they are earning less than 50% of the national average salary.
“We need a new vision and a new start for the UK. We must raise our sights and be more ambitious.”
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