‘I Want My Country Back’: Nigel Farage’s Reform Party Gains First Member of Parliament as Lee Anderson Defects

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The former Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party suspended for comments on Islamism has defected and joined the Nigel Farage-founded Reform UK Party.

Lee Anderson, MP is the first member of parliament for Reform UK. He announced his decision to join the party in a Westminster Press Conference on Monday morning. Anderson is proud of the achievements of his country and believes that opinions shared by millions of Britons, such as those about mass immigration and crime, are not as controversial as media and Westminster politicians claim.

Former Tory blue-collar, who was a deputy chairman of the party and is known for using vernacular English and his blunt and no-nonsense approach, said that he will now focus on winning back his seat in this year’s general election. He said that he also wanted to win similar seats because he felt they were “let down” when the Conservatives lost the last UK General Election during the Boris Johnson years.

These areas, which are known as “Red Wall” seats, were once industrially strong but have been destroyed by manufacturing moving abroad. These areas, while traditionally red and left-wing, can be socially conservative. They voted for the Conservative Party to deliver Brexit in 2019.

Richard Tice, Reform UK leader, and Lee Anderson (former Conservative MP) during a press conference in London, UK on Monday, 11 March 2024, to announce Anderson’s defection from the Conservative Party to Reform UK. Anderson’s departure would be the latest boost to Reform UK, which is climbing in national polls. It could also draw right-wingers away from Prime Minister Rihsi Sunak’s Conservatives during the next general elections. 

After a series of painful challenges, the Conservative Party finally chose Rishi Sunak to be its leader and prime minister. Despite his uncontroversial and clean leadership style, public support has fallen to a historic low.

Richard Tice, Reform UK’s party leader, said at a press conference held this morning to announce the defection of Lee Anderson: “We have to influence and change the direction this country is taking, as it currently has a broken system and the people are becoming poorer. The Red Wall is where it all began. “Millions of people, when they hear about us, will say ‘thank God for Reform.'”

Tice said Anderson will be a “champion”, and “someone that completely understands, who can be trusted by the voters to tell it like it is. No-nonsense, not waffle. Clear, basic, common sense.

Anderson was useful for the Conservatives in the Red Wall seats as an emissary since he had left Labour over the party’s drift to the far-left. This is something that he shared with many of the first-time Tory supporters in these former Labour seats. In February 2023, Anderson was appointed deputy chairman of the Conservative Party as part of this strategy to use him as a spokesperson for working-class voters.

The Conservative Party, despite its attempts to reach out to new demographics, seemed to be unable to accept the views or interests of these voters. Anderson was suspended earlier this year for agreeing to former Home Secretary Suella Bradman, who in February said that “the truth is that Islamists are now in charge”.

Anderson backed up his remarks by pointing out that the regular Hamas marches for Palestine in London showed how “Islamists” controlled London. Anderson’s comments were criticized by Sadiq Khan of London, whom Anderson had named in his remarks. He called them “Islamophobic and anti-Muslim”. Anderson was then suspended from the Party for making the remarks.

Anderson, who spoke on Monday to mark his defection from the United States, referred back to this incident and said:

I, like millions of other people in this nation, feel that we are slowly letting our country go. We’re giving our way of life away, allowing others to erase our past, and giving our streets over to a small minority who hates our way of living. We allow people to enter this country that will never adopt British values and integrate. Parliament does not seem to grasp what the majority of British people are looking for, and some need to be more active.For some remarks I made a few months ago about the London mayor, I lost my whip in the Conservative Party. Let me make it clear that I won’t apologize. It’s no secret that I’ve been speaking to Reform UK for some time, and they have offered me the opportunity to speak in Parliament on behalf of millions who feel like they aren’t being heard… This may sound offensive to liberal elites, but it’s not offensive to my family, friends, or constituency.

Anderson, who insisted that concerns about the high rates of illegal and legal migration, police failures, and crime levels are not controversial, said it is not controversial at all to fight back during a culture war. He said: “I can’t be part of an organization that stifles freedom of speech. Many of my Conservative Party colleagues do support me in this private”.Richard Tice, the leader of the Reform UK party, predicted that other defections would follow if the next general elections are not called soon.