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Reform UK Tones Down Culture War Rhetoric And Targets Tory Voters

Reform UK

Reform UK tones down culture war rhetoric and targets Tory voters

Reform UK, the rebranded Brexit party, plans to focus less on culture war issues and instead try to attract disenchanted Conservatives with more weighty policy offerings based on the cost of living and healthcare, its leader has said.

Richard Tice, a property developer and Brexit campaigner who took over from Nigel Farage as leader in March, promised to field at least 600 candidates in the next general election, saying half had already been chosen.

In the 2019 election the then Brexit party stood down in hundreds of Tory-held seats, but under Tice it will very clearly target what he now calls “the party of high taxes and high regulation”.

Speaking to the Guardian before the party’s conference on Sunday, Tice said it would not be unfair even to argue he has more in common with Keir Starmer than Boris Johnson. “I don’t think it is, actually. I’ve never met Keir, but I think you can tell we both care about people. Boris only cares about Boris.”

The Reform UK conference, while low in profile, carries potentially significant political resonance for several reasons, not least in shaping the future of a party that won the 2019 European elections but then slipped into near obscurity.

In this year’s council elections, the party won two seats. “Knocking on doors, the majority of people hadn’t heard of us,” Tice admitted, but polls now put Reform UK at up to 5%.

The conference will hear policy announcements in areas including healthcare, tax and the environment, plus one that Tice promised would have “a big, unexpected wow factor”.

He said this would mark the end of a period in which his party has often gained attention by focusing on the culture wars and associated issues, including opposition to lockdown and a semi-alliance with Laurence Fox, the outspoken actor turned London mayoral candidate.

“Yes, we get irritated by what we call the woke stuff, and I think it does irritate millions of people,” Tice said. “But what affects people’s daily lives are the policies I’ve talked about, and the election will be fought on those things. We are deadly serious about this.”

Also significant is Reform UK’s resolute opposition to Johnson’s Conservatives, to the extent of holding its conference in Manchester on the same day that the Tory conference opens in the same city. “That was my idea, to really wind them up, which I think it has successfully done,” Tice said. “We’re starting to get abused by Conservatives, which is always a good sign.”

Another notable element of the post-Farage Reform UK is that while critical of Johnsonism, it mimics his pick-and-mix approach to policies from the left and right. Thus, while Tice would propose significant cuts to income and business taxes, these would be aimed only at lower-paid people and smaller firms. Any revenue gap, which Tice argues would be temporary, would be plugged not by spending cuts but by increased borrowing.

“Everybody’s got their knickers in a twist about the national debt,” he said. “There’s no reason to be so worried about it.”

Similarly, while Tice is critical of the government’s net-zero plans, he does not overtly deny the climate science and would like to see the government offer 100% loans for people to fit domestic solar panels.

While Tice is careful to not dismiss Farage, to whom he still regularly speaks, it is clear this is a changed approach from a leader now best known for making videos about refugees landing in Dover. “Correct,” Tice said when asked if it was a new era for the party. “This is Reform UK under my leadership, and these policies are driven by my focus.”

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Osun LP Guber Candidate, Lasun Rejoins PDP

Yusuf Lasun, a former deputy speaker of the house of representatives, has rejoined the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The governor of Osun, Ademola Adeleke made the announcement on Wednesday at the PDP presidential rally in Osogbo, the Osun capital.

“The former deputy speaker has joined the PDP family. He used to be in PDP, but today, he has decided to come and join the PDP family,” the governor said.

Lasun, who was present at the rally, hailed supporters after a terse remark.

Lasun had contested the 2022 governorship election in Osun on the platform of the Labour Party (LP).

Adeleke came first in the election; Gboyega Oyetola of the APC placed second; Kehinde Atanda of the Action Democratic Party (ADP) came third; while Lasun came a distant fourth.

He was a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) until February when he resigned from the party after losing the party’s governorship ticket.

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I Can’t Contest For President Again; It Will Diminish Me- Jonathan

Goodluck Jonathan, Nigeria’s former president, has said he will never contest for the Presidency of the country again.

The Ex-president said it would amount to diminishing himself if he should decide to begin to lobby people and campaign for election again.

Jonathan said this in an interview published in a book, ‘My Time As Chaplain In Aso Rock,” presented to the public on Tuesday.

The book written by Nathaniel Bivan contains the accounts of the Chaplain of the Aso Rock Villa Chapel during the Jonathan administration, Obioma Onwuzurumba.

“If you wake up tomorrow and see that I am President again, that means there may have been circumstances beyond my control. But not to go and pick one form and go and start lobbying people and running for campaigns; I can’t do that again. If I do that, I will diminish myself,” the former President said.

Jonathan said he enjoyed the drama that characterised the rumour earlier in the year that he had purchased a nomination form of the All Progressives Congress to enable him to contest for the party’s presidential ticket.

Ahead of the June 2022 APC presidential primary, a group, Nomadic Pastoralists and Almajirai Community, led by Ibrahim Abdullahi, purchased the N100m nomination and expression of interest forms in Jonathan’s name.

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NMDPRA Assures Nigerians Of Steady Fuel Supply

The Nigeria Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) says the queues at filling stations will soon disappear as marketers commence massive loading of petroleum products.

Mr Ahmed Farouk, Chief Executive of NMDPRA, gave the assurance during a stock monitoring exercise within depots in Lagos on Wednesday.

The NMDPRA boss led staff of the Authority to NIPCO, Total, Aiteo, OVH, Conoil, 11 Plc and HOGL depots in Apapa for on the spot assessment.

Farouk said the stock taking exercise was to ensure availability and effective distribution of petroleum products across the nation to reduce queues at filling stations.

“The essence of this exercise is to ensure that the entire states are wet with petroleum products to avoid scarcity and panic buying by commuters during this period.

“As an Authority, we are doing everything within our powers to make sure that there are enough petroleum products in the system to help alleviate the sufferings of commuters.

“With the issue of scarcity across the nation, l found it necessary that NMDPRA come and ensure that there is even distribution of petroleum products across the nation, especially petrol.

“I am comfortable with the the load-out of petrol across the depots.

“The current distribution of petrol across the nation will address the issue of tightness in the market,” he said.

The NMDPRA boss said all depots in Apapa had products and were loading massively to Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and other states.

He said three vessels were also discharging petrol at Apapa jetty to MOMAN, DAPPMAN and other depots.

Farouk urged Nigerians not to panic and avoid panic buying, while assuring of availability of sufficient products at filling stations across the country.

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