Nigel Farage's Reform UK manifesto 'doesn't add up', warn economic experts

Reform UK leader Farage has launched their manifesto - which he is calling a 'contract with the people'.

MERTHYR TYDFIL,  WALES - JUNE 17: Reform UK Leader Nigel Farage prior launching 'Our Contract with You' general election manifesto on June 17, 2024 in Merthyr Tydfil, United Kingdom. The Reform Party's
Nigel Farage has launched Reform UK's 'Our Contract with You' general election manifesto. (Getty)

Reform UK's election 'manifesto' has been described as "problematic" by the Institute of Fiscal Studies, which said its tax cuts would cost "tens of billions of pounds a year more" than Reform anticipated.

And while Reform's leader Nigel Farage promised to deliver a "radical rethink" of the NHS and the UK's public services during his party's election 'manifesto' launch, the IFS suggested that Reform's cost-saving measures would save less than set out.

"Even with the extremely optimistic assumptions about how much economic growth would increase, the sums in this manifesto do not add up," the IFS said.

"Whilst Reform’s manifesto gives a clear sense of priority, a government could only implement parts of this package, or would need to find other ways to help pay for it, which would mean losers not specified."

Key proposals outlined in the manifesto - which Reform UK has described as a a 'contract' in an attempt to distance itself from other political parties - include:

  • On immigration, leave the European Convention on Human Rights within 100 days and allow zero illegal immigrants to settle in the UK.

  • Freeze all non-essential immigration and raise employers' National Insurance rates for foreign workers to 20%

  • On the NHS, give tax relief of 20% on all private healthcare and insurance

  • On the economy, reduce the main corporation tax rate from 25% to 15% in three years; abolish business rates for small and medium businesses; and cut fuel duty by 20p per litre

Farage rejected criticism of his plans to cut tax while increasing public spending by an additional £141bn every year, without providing fully costed details on where the money would come from. Instead, he described his proposals as "outside the box".

Yahoo News has ended live coverage of Reform UK's manifesto launch. Read below for a summary of the day's events:

  • What is the ECHR?

    One of the key parts of Reform's 'contract' is a pledge to leave European Convention on Human Rights, a body Nigel Farage criticised as being "out of date" on Monday.

    What is the ECHR?

    It's a human rights charter. It was advocated for by leaders such as Winston Churchill following the Second World War.

    It started with the creation of the Council of Europe in 1949, followed by the adoption of the ECHR itself in 1953. The UK was one of the states which drafted the convention.

    The European Court of Human Rights, in Strasbourg, makes binding judgments on the ECHR.

    What protections does it provide to us?

    Rights, freedoms and protections in the ECHR include:

    • right to life

    • prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment

    • prohibition of slavery and forced labour

    • right to liberty and security

    • right to a fair trial

    • prohibition of retrospective criminal penalties

    • right to private and family life

    • freedom of thought, conscience and religion

    • freedom of expression

    • freedom of assembly and association

    • right to marry

    • right to an effective national remedy for breach of these rights

    • prohibition of discrimination in the protection of these rights

    Additional rights ratified by the UK include:

    • abolition of the death penalty in all circumstances

    • right to free enjoyment of property

    • right to education

    • right to free and fair elections

    What could happen if the UK quits?

    Liberty, the human rights campaign group, says leaving "would put everyone’s rights at risk".

    It says the "UK government would have the power to do whatever it wants to individuals’ rights with no threat of consequences".

    The ECHR, as former government lawyer Sir Jonathan Jones KC said in an Institute for Government article last month, has "profoundly influenced the protection of rights in the UK in areas including the treatment of homosexuals [and] corporal punishment in schools".

  • Reform's manifesto 'does not add up'

    Economic experts have branded the tax and spending pledges in Reform UK's 'contract' as "problematic".

    Carl Emmerson, deputy director at the Institute for Fiscal Studies said that the pledges would amount to around £140bn additional funding each year - £90bn in tax cuts and £50bn in spending increases.

    On the NHS, Emmerson described Reform's plan to cut waiting lists to zero as "near impossible".

    "Of the proposed spending increases, the largest is for the NHS (£17 billion per year). However, this would not be nearly enough to meet Reform’s incredibly ambitious commitment to eliminate waiting lists within two years," he said. "Eliminating the waiting list entirely is a feat that has not been achieved in the history of the NHS and seems near impossible within two years."

    He added: "Even with the extremely optimistic assumptions about how much economic growth would increase, the sums in this manifesto do not add up. Whilst Reform’s manifesto gives a clear sense of priority, a government could only implement parts of this package, or would need to find other ways to help pay for it, which would mean losers not specified.”

  • Farage - I wouldn't work with the OBR

    British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss attends a joint news conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow, Russia February 10, 2022.
    Liz Truss's spell as PM was disastrous for the UK economy. (PA)

    Nigel Farage said he doesn’t “want to work with the OBR”.

    The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) was created in 2010 to provide independent analysis of the UK's public finances.

    Asked about the comparisons between Reform’s plans and former prime minister Liz Truss’s mini-budget, he said: “I don’t want to work with the OBR. I mean they’re part of the problem, not part of the solution. We need radical, fresh thinking, we haven’t had it for years in this country. We are getting poorer.

    He added: “Britain is broken, we’re presenting some radical ideas for how we can change that.”

    Farage has not responded to criticism of how he would fund massive tax cuts and a huge increase in public spending with any detail.

    Truss was widely criticised for refusing to allow the OBR to provide a full forecast of her mini-budget that hit the economy and ultimately forced her to quit.

  • Deadline to register to vote is tomorrow

    TOPSHOT - A dog, wearing a raincoat, waits for its owner to return outside a polling station in north London, as Britain holds a general election on December 12, 2019. (Photo by Tolga Akmen / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)

    A quick remind that tomorrow (18 June) is the deadline to register to vote in the election on 4 July.

    This can be done online at the government website.

    For more information about how to find out which candidate is standing in your local area, check out Yahoo's handy guide here.

  • Farage says it is 'nonsense' that party's plans would create larger tax burden than Labour

    Pressed on the calculation that his party’s plans would create a larger tax burden than Labour, Reform leader Nigel Farage said: “It’s absolute nonsense,”

    He continued: “The ambition of this is to reduce the tax burden and to stop people doing jobs, a staff nurse paying 40% tax, eight million people paying 40% plus taxes in a couple of years time, that’s what we’re trying to address.

    “And we’re not going to address it without growth, and we ain’t gonna get growth unless we incentivise men and women to set up their own businesses and be successful.”

  • Opinion: Nigel Farage must believe in fairies

    For all the terror he triggers in Brian Cox, Nigel Farage is a saloon bar bore, not a beer hall putscher. Winning power doesn’t really interest him, writes William Atkinson for The Telegraph.

    He has never had any sort of governmental responsibility: the perfect tribune for disgruntled Right-winger, who can be safe in the knowledge that none of his ideas really matter. Deport asylum seekers to the Moon? Sounds tremendous!

    Read the full story from The Telegraph.

  • Nigel Farage mocked over Reform UK's 'deeply unserious' plan to cut taxes and raise spending

    Reform UK’s plans to cut taxes while also massively increasing public spending has been branded “deeply unserious” as the party unveiled its general election “contract” with voters.

    The document - which party leader Nigel Farage refused to call a manifesto - was launched as the right-wing party threatens to torpedo any lingering chance the Tories had of staying in power.

    Read the full story from HuffPost.

  • Nigel Farage promises tighter borders and tax cuts in election 'contract'

    Reform UK leader Nigel Farage launches 'Our Contract with You' in Merthyr Tydfil while on the General Election campaign trail. Picture date: Monday June 17, 2024.
    Reform UK leader Nigel Farage launches 'Our Contract with You' in Merthyr Tydfil while on the general election campaign trail. (Alamy)

    Nigel Farage, whose entry into the election has damaged Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's faint hopes of victory, set out his policy plans on Monday, describing them as the first step to becoming the dominant party on the right of British politics.

    On Monday he said the earlier-than-expected election had come too soon for his Reform UK party but called on supporters of Sunak's Conservatives to "join the revolt" and pitched Reform as the only ones who could hold to account Labour, whose leader Keir Starmer is forecast to become the next prime minister.

    Read the full story from Reuters.

  • Farage says public servants 'pop into Whitehall a couple of days a week'

    On whether his party’s spending pledges would result in cuts to public services, Farage said: “Well cuts to the public sector, I mean, frankly, they’re never in the office anyway are they? It’s work from home, pop into Whitehall a couple of days a week.”

    He added: “If you’re running a company and things are tight, you say to your managers and middle managers, ‘Right, I’m sorry, this is the way it is, you’ve got to cut £5 in £100’ – in fact in tough times it might be £10 in £100 or £20 in £100, and you have to find a way of doing that without affecting the product that we’re selling to the public.”

  • Fact check: Recent migrants account for a small proportion of the UK population

    Nigel Farage says one in 30 people walking the streets has come here in the last two years.

    Figures from the Office for National Statistics suggest this claim may be correct when solely looking at arrivals to the UK.

    However, this does not account for the large number of people leaving the country. Migration does not mean an extra person for every 29 already in the UK.

    Read the full fact check from The Independent.

  • Farage says party will spend £141bn every year

    Reform UK leader Nigel Farage, told his party was proposing to spend an extra £141 billion every year, saying: “It’s radical, it’s fresh thinking, it’s outside the box, it’s not what you’re going to get from the current Labour and Conservative parties who are virtually indistinguishable, frankly, from each other.

    “Is this radical fresh thinking on economics? Yes. Is it radical fresh thinking on constitutional change? Yes. Is it very radical change on the way our education system is currently bringing up our young children? Yes.

    “Britain is broken, Britain needs reform, that’s what we’re here for, that’s what we’re trying to do, and Richard has also suggested some very interesting, radical changes to pay for it.”

    Reform UK chairman Richard Tice acknowledged there are spending costs before adding: “But we also outline all of the savings.”

  • Recent poll puts Reform at 'record high'

    Reform at a record high in JLPartners poll.

  • Has GDP fallen for past six quarters?

    Full Fact checks Nigel Farage's comment on GDP.

  • 'We've got a very, very big message'

    Wrapping up the round of questioning, Nigel Farage said: "We ain’t gonna win this election but we are well on our way to establishing that bridgehead in the House of Commons.

    "We may well be a small party now, compared to Labour and the Conservatives, but we’ve got a very very big message."

  • We're skint, Farage says

    Nigel Farage said the country was "skint".

    Sky News asked him where he would find £50bn every year of public waste to fund his plan.

    He replied: "Cuts to public sector, frankly they’re never in the office anyway, work from home, pop into Whitehall every couple of weeks.

    "The bloating of the quangos, the bloating of the civil service... is just astonishing.

    "All we’re gonna get with Labour is more of the same.

    "We’re skint. Who else would dare say that in this campaign? We’re skint. We’re in real trouble. Let’s face reality, we have to have a slimmed down public sector.

  • Farage says he's been passed a hand grenade

    Nigel Farage said he's been passed a hand grenade in taking over leadership of Reform.

    Sam Coates from Sky News asked him: "In your contract you’re proposing to spend an extra £141bn every year, about 30 times more than Labour, the scale of this is deeply unserious"

    Farage replied: "It’s radical. It’s outside the box. Britain is broken, Britain needs reform, that’s what we’re here for, that’s what we’re here to do. I’m unashamedly radical.

    "It’s going to be a Labour government, we all know that, I said that two weeks ago when Richard passed me the ball or the hand grenade or whatever it was!"

  • Farage cites Lee Anderson as former member of Labour who has defected to Reform

    Farage was asked by GB News to describe a 'typical Reform voter'.

    He replied: "A very large number of Reform members are former members of the Labour Party, Lee Anderson being perhaps a very good example of that."

  • Farage says 'manifesto' is real plan

    Farage dismissed the idea that his 'manifesto' was a wish list rather than a set of pledges.

    Answering a question from the BBC, he said: "I see no inconsistencies with that whatsoever," adding that he intended to provide real opposition for the Labour Party.

    "It is a promise, this is what we’re going to campaign for over the next five years. We are going to provide a voice of opposition and this outlines how we’re going to challenge Labour."

  • Tice says scrapping waste in public sector can fund front-line growth

    Richard Tice said that scrapping projects like HS2, getting rid of foreign aid, and cutting out waste in the public sector would mean the ability to "invest in the front line".

    "If we get a million people off benefits and back to work, there's huge billions of savings," Tice said.

    Another bugbear of ours is HS2, he said, adding "scrap the rest of it".

    "People love common-sense policies," he concluded.

  • Tice says Reform are the 'real party' on workers' side

    Reform UK chairman Richard Tice, who was replaced as leader by Farage when he announced he was running as an MP, has now taken over the launch.

    He told the audience: "Word is spreading about Reform UK.

    "We're the real party on the side of the workers, not the Labour Party - what I call the Cafe Latte Party - that is on the side of big business."

  • Farage says Reform is doing 'really rather well'

    Farage, concluding his speech before he introduced 'Mr Nasty' Richard Tice - to talk through the costings, said: "As a party we are unashamedly patriotic. But as a party we’re radical, racidcal in terms of the way we want to change public services. We’re radical in terms of our view on the electoral system, the house of Lords.

    "You can be both. You can be traditional and radical at the same time. We want real genuine change to give us a brighter stronger future.

    "This is step one. Our real ambition is the 2029 election. I sense we’re doing really rather well."

  • Farage wants 'radical' rethink of NHS

    Farage said the UK should have a 'radical' rethink of how it manages public services, including the NHS.

    "We want to have an absolutely radical rethink of the way our public services are run, and yes that does include the NHS," he said. "All we want is an NHS that is free at the point of delivery that actually works.

    "We would like the state to take far less of our money that it’s currently doing."

  • Farage says system keeps people on benefits

    Farage said there were people on benefits who did not want to be.

    "There are a lot of people on benefits who do not want to be on benefits," he said. "They do actually want to go back to work. The system massively disincentivises this."

  • 'You can go out shoplifting,' says Farage

    Nigel Farage said law had broken down to the point that people could get away with shoplifting.

    "We’re going to have to get much tougher on low level crime," he said. "And shoplifting! You can all go out and shoplift, it’s fine!"

  • Farage says he is on side of sole traders

    Farage said Reform was on the side of the sole trader.

    "We want to be on the side of the working people, the sole trader who feels government is their enemy, it is their enemy regardless of the colour of the rosette," he said. "The business community who genuinely thought and hope that by streamlining so many rules their lives would become easier.

    He added: "One of the areas we need to spend money on is defence. This barmy idea that we’re going back to National Service - no we’re not. We’ve neglected defence very very badly."

  • Reform publishes 'costed' plan that includes savings on immigration

    Reform's 'manifesto' includes costing such as cuts from immigration and foreign aid.

  • Farage says he is 'Johnny come lately' to manifesto

    Nigel Farage said he was a "Johnny come lately" on the party's manifesto, which he said was worked out by former leader Richard Tice.

  • Scrap 'green' subsidies, says Farage

    Farage said the UK should scrap green energy policies that he claimed were driving people out of business and costing homeowners more money.

    "We are pursuing net zero policies that are self-destructive," he said. "We want to get rid of the subsidies that are paid to green energy companies that are paid by levying taxes on the electricity bills of everybody."

  • Farage wants to leave 'out of date' ECHR

    Farage said the UK should leave the European Court of Human Rights, describing it as "out of date."

  • Farage says this is an 'immigration election'

    Nigel Farage said the 2024 election should be an immigration election.

    "We believe this is what we should be talking about, but others would rather not discuss it," he said.

    "One in 30 people on the streets of Britain today have come in the last two years alone," he said. "We want to have a proper honest debate about it.

    "An overall freeze on net migration numbers is what we need at least for a few years."

    He added: "It's only right and proper that you only get benefits in this country once you've been here for five years, obeyed the law and paid your taxes."

  • Farage says Braverman 'virtually proposed political marriage'

    London, UK  5 May 2024 Former Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, arrives to appear on Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg. She recently said The Tories must c
    Nigel Farage said former home secretary Suella Braverman proposed political marriage. (Alamy)

    Nigel Farage said there was a huge difference of opinion on him even within parties, adding: "You've got Suella Braverman virtually proposing political marriage to me over the weekend and we have Lord Cameron generally being fairly abusive."

  • Farage says campaign is 'first important step' on road to 2029

    Nigel Farage launches his 'contract'. (Sky News)
    Nigel Farage launches his 'contract'. (Sky News)

    Farage said his campaign in 2024 was the "first important step on the road to 2029", adding to previous comments that he would like to be prime minister at the end of the decade.

    He said: "The 18 to 24 age group are now coming to Reform’s cause.

    "This election is for our party and for me the first important step on the road to 2029. Our ambition is to become a real opposition to a Labour government."

  • Farage says there is 'huge' gap between the people and the political class

    Farage said politics was dominated by "Westminster and Oxford University thinking".

    "There is a huge gap between our political class and the people," he said. "I now believe that gap to be even bigger than it was back in June 2016."

  • Farage says he is 'used to people throwing things at me'

    Nigel Farage said he didn't care what other politicians thought about him, and was used to not being like, quipping "I'm even used to people throwing things at me."

  • Farage says he is standing because 'Britain is broken'

    Farage said he was running as an MP because he believed Britain was broken.

    "I did not for one moment think I would be doing this. But I am. I'm doing it because I genuinely feel Britain is broken.

    "We’re broken economically. We’re broken socially, we all feel less safe on our streets.

    "We are in decline culturally. We’ve begun to forget who we are, what our history is, what we stand for."

    He added: "We are going through a breakdown in trust in politics. Today specifically is not a manifesto launch. If I say manifesto your immediate word association is lie.

    "Millions of Brexit voters out there are genuinely disappointed. It’s a failure of a sovereign government to implement the will of the people. I also think there is a distinct lack of leadership.

    "People need some sense of being inspired."

  • Guess who's back? Farage launches election manifesto

    Nigel Farage launched his election manifesto with a line from Eminem's Without Me, telling the crowd: "Guess who's back? Back again..."

  • Opinion: Farage is right: Wales is an utter disaster

    Adam Smith’s dictum – that there is a great deal of ruin in a nation – is being tested to the limit in 21st century Wales, writes Annabel Denham for The Telegraph.

    After 25 years of Labour control, it lags behind the rest of the UK on a range of metrics. Nigel Farage is wise to launch his “contract” with the people in Merthyr Tydfil, if his aim is to warn the British public just how much they might suffer under Keir Starmer.

    Read the full story from The Telegraph.

  • Reform says it is the only party that can fix the NHS

    Reform says it is the only party that can fix the NHS.

  • Lib Dems share no values with Reform, Davey says

    Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey said his party does not share any values with Reform UK.

    Asked if Reform is making things harder for the Lib Dems, Davey told reporters: “No, we don’t share any values with Reform, I think people know that.

    “And they’ve got a right to stand, that’s fine, but I think if you look at the analysis of it they’re not going to win many seats, if any at all frankly. And people know that we can win seats, we’ve got MPs at the moment, we’ve won historic by-elections in the last parliament, Reform didn’t.”

    Speaking from Broadsands Beach, Paignton, Davey said that “people are pretty angry” with the Conservatives in South Devon.

    He added: “People who have always voted Conservative, families who’ve always voted Conservative are going to change that.

    “It’s quite difficult for some people to do that but they really want to do it this time because they can’t bear the lack of integrity, the lack of competence, they’re just out of touch. Rishi Sunak’s Conservatives are just out of touch.”

  • Labour in position to stop Farage becoming an MP, campaign group confirms after collapse in Tory vote

    Anti-Brexit group Best for Britain says its analysis confirms that Labour is in a strong position to win Clacton and stop Nigel Farage becoming an MP.

    The claim came as part of a wider tactical voting analysis by the group published this morning for 452 seats across the UK including a plan to unseat prime minister Rishi Sunak, his chancellor Jeremy Hunt and predecessor Liz Truss.

    The news has broken as Farage plans to unveil Reform’s “contract with the people” in Wales, his party’s version of a manifesto and has declared that he will be prime minister in 2029.

    Read the full story from The Independent.

  • Lib Dem leader says Reform may not win any seats in general election

    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 16, 2024: Liberal Democrats leader Sir Ed Davey arrives at the BBC Broadcasting House to attend the Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg show in London, United Kingdom on June 16, 2024. (Photo credit should read Wiktor Szymanowicz/Future Publishing via Getty Images)
    Liberal Democrats leader Sir Ed Davey is sceptical of Reform's chances of election success. (Getty Images)

    Sir Ed Davey has predicted that Reform UK might not win any seats at all in the general election.

    The Liberal Democrats leader was on the campaign trail at Broadsands Beach, Paignton, Devon, on Monday morning.

    Asked if Reform is making things harder for the Lib Dems, Davey said: “No, we don’t share any values with Reform, I think people know that.

    “And they’ve got a right to stand, that’s fine, but I think if you look at the analysis of it they’re not going to win many seats, if any at all frankly.

    "And people know that we can win seats, we’ve got MPs at the moment, we’ve won historic by-elections in the last parliament, Reform didn’t.”

  • Farage demands spot on BBC's Question Time live election debate

    UNSPECIFIED,  - JUNE 13: NOTE TO EDITORS: Not for use after July 4, 2024. No Archive after this date. In this handout photo provided by ITV, Reform UK leader Nigel Farage takes part in the ITV Election Debate moderated by Julie Etchingham on June 13, 2024 in UNSPECIFIED, United Kingdom. (Photo by Jonathan Hordle/ITV via Getty Images)
    Nigel Farage in a previous election debate on ITV. (Getty Images)

    Nigel Farage says he should be given a slot on a live leaders debate later this week.

    The Question Time debate on Thursday evening on BBC, hosted by Fiona Bruce, is currently scheduled to include representatives of the UK’s four largest parties: the Conservatives, Labour, the SNP and the Liberal Democrats.

    But Farage says he too should be included after Reform overtook the Tories for the first time in one poll.

    “I think we can demand of right now that the BBC put us into that debate,” he said.

    Read more on this story from Yahoo News UK here.

  • Expert says Tory move to ape Reform is 'doomed to fail'

    British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak gives a press conference during the G7 Summit at the Borgo Egnazia resort in Apulia region, in Savelletri near Bari, Italy, on June 14, 2024. (Photo by Piero CRUCIATTI / AFP) (Photo by PIERO CRUCIATTI/AFP via Getty Images)
    Prime minister Rishi Sunak has been warned not to copy Reform UK. (AFP via Getty Images)

    A political expert has warned the Conservative Party that its policy to copy the policies of Reform is "doomed to fail".

    Dr Sam Power, senior lecturer in politics at the University of Sussex, said: “Reform’s rise is less to do with wider trends towards support for the populist radical right, and much more to do with specific factors in the UK.

    "The Conservatives have a leader in Sunak who – despite being an ardent Brexiteer/Tory right-winger – is disliked by those on and to the right of the Conservative Party.

    “Sunak’s Conservatives have made the disastrous decision to attempt to ape Reform policies, and shift increasingly to the right – particularly around immigration.

    "The problem is, you will never outflank Reform on immigration. Academic research is very clear that parties on the right that try and act like populists, only lose votes to those very same parties.

    “This should be a lesson to both the Conservatives and Labour. If they move to become Reform-lite, they’re unlikely to impress the voters they are trying to, and lose countless others to the left. It’s a strategy that is doomed to fail.”

  • Farage says vetting company to blame for BNP-backing candidate

    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JUN 14, 2024 - Nigel Farage, pictured during Reform UK's press conference in London to talk about a political 'Crossover' in the latest poll.  (Photo credit should read Matthew Chattle/Future Publishing via Getty Images)
    Nigel Farage has suggested a Reform candidate was not vetted properly. (Getty Images)

    Farage has suggested his party were let down by a vetting company over a Reform candidate who previously expressed support for the British National Party (BNP).

    Grand StClair-Armstrong resigned after a report in The Times revealed he had written a blog post in 2010 urging people to vote for the BNP.

    Farage told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "Now, we did put in place – with quite a well-known political figure, who runs a professional vetting company – we put in place something, we spent a great deal of money on getting that vetting done, it wasn’t done, and I’ll talk more about that over the next couple of days."

    StClair-Armstrong is running in North West Essex, where business secretary Kemi Badenoch is defending her seat.

    The ballot paper will still show him as a Reform UK candidate, but if he wins he will stand as an independent.

  • Can Reform UK really beat the Tories at the general election?

    Edinburgh, United Kingdom. 13 August, 2023 Pictured: LBC presenter Iain Dale interviews British political scientist Sir John Curtice and former BBC Scotland Political Editor Brian Taylor. Sir John Curtice stated, “The choice that Scotland hasn’t debated is should Scotland be independent outside the EU or independent inside the EU?” Brian Taylor added, “Nothing short of persuading the people of Scotland is going to work to obtain another referendum, not another de facto referendum, not anything else.” Credit: Rich Dyson/Alamy Live News
    Pollster Sir John Curtice isn't convinced Reform can beat the Tories at the election. (Alamy)

    Leading pollster Sir John Curtice has poured cold water on suggestions that Reform UK is now beating the Conservative Party in the general election polls.

    Last week, a YouGov survey for The Times newspaper said Reform’s support had increased by two points to 19%, putting them ahead of the Tories for the first time.

    Leader Nigel Farage took the the opportunity to hail the poll results in Thursday's multiparty debate, declaring: “We are now the opposition to Labour.”

    But can they really beat the Tories? Read more here from Yahoo News UK.

  • Shapps leaves door open for Farage to be elected Conservative leader

    During an interview on Monday morning with BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Shapps was asked if he could envisage Farage being elected as an MP then crossing the floor to the Conservatives, and eventually being elected leader.

    Shapps replied: “Anyone is welcome to be a Conservative, but you can’t be Conservative if you belong to another party, and if indeed you stand against the party, so that’s how Conservative membership and indeed membership for all parties works.”

    However, he added: “If you want to renounce your own party and cross the floor, then of course we look at those cases on an individual basis."

    But Shapps said a vote for Reform in the generation election would only give Labour a "supermajority.”

  • Shapps admits Conservative victory at general election is 'unlikely'

    Britain's Defence Secretary Grant Shapps arrives prior to the King's Birthday Parade,
    Defence secretary Grant Shapps says a Tory general election victory is 'unlikely'. (AFP via Getty Images)

    A Conservative general election victory is "unlikely", a cabinet minister has acknowledged, as Reform continues to eat into the Tory share of the vote.

    Defence secretary Grant Shapps said he was a “realist” and would not “try and pretend black is white” by claiming the Conservatives were on course for victory.

    Click here for more on this story from PA Media.

  • The controversies that have hit Reform UK

    Nigel Farage leader of Britain's Reform Party, speaks during a press conference in Westminster in London, Friday, June 14, 2024, while on the General Election campaign trail. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
    Nigel Farage's Reform party have faced a number of controversies. (AP Photo)

    Even though they are polling ahead or just behind the Conservative Party, Reform have had to deal with a number of controversies in their campaign.

    The latest came on Monday when candidate Grant StClair-Armstrong resigned from the party after a report in The Times revealed he had written a blog post in 2010 that called on people to vote for the BNP.

    Last week, Reform candidate Ian Gribbin, who is standing Bexhill and Battle in East Sussex, was forced to apologise for an online post two years ago in which he wrote Britain should have "taken Hitler up on his offer of neutrality" during the Second World War.

    Gribbin said: "I apologise for these old comments and withdraw them unreservedly. I further apologise for the upset that they have caused."

    Farage himself was also criticised for claiming Rishi Sunak doesn't understand "our culture" after the prime minister left the D-Day commemorations early.

    He defended his initial claim, accusing Sunak of being "disconnected by class" and "by privilege" from ordinary people. Work and pensions secretary Mel Stride called Farage's comments "deeply regrettable".

  • What can we expect in Reform UK's manifesto?

    Nigel Farage Election , Clacton on Sea, UK, 8, June,2024   Reform Party Leader Nigel Farage speaking to activists in  Clacton-on-Sea,, Essex today.
    Leaflets for Nigel Farage's election campaign in Clacton, Essex. (PA)

    Farage will launch his party's manifesto, or what it is calling a "contract" with voters, at 1pm on Monday in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales.

    He said the location was chosen because "it shows everyone exactly what happens to a country when Labour is in charge”, claiming schools and NHS waiting lists are worse in Wales than in England.

    Reform will fight the election on immigration, with policies already announced including an “employer immigration tax” on companies who choose to employ overseas workers instead of British citizens.

    The party has vowed to freeze lawful immigration with the exception of healthcare workers and leave the European Convention on Human Rights.

    On the economy, the party has set out an ambition to slash £91bn off public spending by stopping the Bank of England paying interest on quantitative easing reserves and finding £50bn of wasteful spending in Whitehall.

    It has promised there would be no tax on earnings under £20,000 a year, that it would abolish the government’s net-zero targets and “stand up for British culture, identity and values”.

  • Farage says Reform candidate's BNP posts unacceptable

    Farage said a Reform UK candidate's previous posts encouraging people to vote for the British National Party (BNP) were not acceptable.

    Grant StClair-Armstrong, who is standing in North West Essex, has resigned from the party after a report in The Times newspaper said he also used a blog to make racial slurs and a joke about "female hormones".

    He posted on a blog in 2010: “I could weep now, every time I pick up a British newspaper and read the latest about the state of the UK.

    “No doubt, Enoch Powell would be doing the same if he was alive. My solution … vote BNP!”

    StClair-Armstrong told The Times: “I’ve got no excuses for that. I think they’re a disgusting party. I don’t like the English Defence League. I don’t like them.”

    His name will still appear on the ballot paper as a Reform UK candidate because the deadline for nominations has passed, but if elected he would stand as an independent.

    Farage said: “This particular case is a chap in his 70s, who 20 years ago said he was thinking of voting BNP as a protest vote, he was never a member of the BNP.

    “However, we don’t find that acceptable.

    “With a short general election every party is having problems with candidates, but effectively when you vote... the choices are not so much the candidates in the constituencies – we’ve almost got a presidential style now.

    "People are voting for or against Keir Starmer, Rishi Sunak, Ed Davey or me. They’re the names that are really on the ballot paper.”

Your guide to voting

The manifestos

The leaders