‘Mr Brexit’ Nigel Farage launches anti-lockdown party
Nigel Farage, the driving force behind Brexit, was on Monday set to relaunch his political party as “Reform UK”, with a main focus to oppose the government’s coronavirus lockdowns.
The former leader of the UK Independence Party launched the Brexit Party 21 months ago to increase pressure on the government of then-prime minister Theresa May to deliver Brexit.
With Britain having left the European Union in January, the party retreated into the shadows, but the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and the imposition of a second lockdown has spurred Farage to relaunch his party.
“While we are still keeping a close eye on Brexit, it is time to redirect our energies,” he wrote in the Sunday Telegraph.
“The single most pressing issue is the government’s woeful response to coronavirus. The ‘strategy’ has been to terrify the nation into submission, coupled with a barrage of lockdowns, rules, regulations and threats.
“This is no way to tackle a disease that may be around for a long time, perhaps forever,” he added.
Farage warned the debate over how to respond to the outbreak was “becoming even more toxic than that over Brexit”, and called on the government to adopt measures seen in Sweden, which has imposed local measures rather than full lockdowns so far.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Saturday that England would lock down again with virus cases spiralling and the death toll approaching 47,000.
He also wants the party to “take on powerful vested interests” such as the unelected upper chamber of parliament the House of Lords, public sector broadcaster BBC and immigration authorities, he added.