Lee Anderson crosses the House of Commons to opposition benches as MP joins Reform UK

Lee Anderson crosses the House of Commons to opposition benches as MP joins Reform UK
'It's a shame he's gone', says minister on Lee Anderson defection
Millie Cooke

By Millie Cooke

Published: 12/03/2024

- 13:44

Updated: 12/03/2024

- 15:07

The former Conservative MP announced his defection to Reform UK yesterday

Lee Anderson has crossed the floor of the House of Commons to take his seat on the Opposition benches as a Reform UK MP.

He sat next to Workers Party MP George Galloway before leaving the Commons.

The former Conservative MP announced his defection to the party yesterday, saying he is "prepared to gamble" on himself. Speaking at a press conference, the MP for Ashfield said he knows "how many people support Reform and what they have to say".

He added: "All I want is my country back."

Anderson has ruled out holding a by-election in his constituency ahead of this year's general election.

His defection came weeks after he was suspended from the Tory party after claiming that "Islamists have got control of our country" and that Sadiq Khan has "given our capital city away to his mates."

Announcing Anderson's decision to join Reform UK, the party's leader Richard Tice said it had found a "champion" for its plan to overtake the Tories in Red Wall seats.

He described the MP as a "person of great integrity", adding: "I think millions of British people endorsed the concerns and sentiments of what Lee was saying, which is that we are sick and tired of our streets being taken over by these pro-Hamas, extremist, antisemitic people and Islamist extremists."

Anderson accused the Tory Party of "giving our country away".

He said: "My opinions are not controversial. They are opinions which are shared by millions of people up and down the country.

“Now, like millions of people in this country, I feel that we are slowly giving our country away. We are giving away our way of life. We are allowing people to erase our history.


"We are giving up our streets to a minority of people who literally hate our way of life. We are letting people into our country that will never integrate or adopt our British values.”

Some 1,000 people have joined Reform UK in a single day after Lee Anderson announced his decision to defect, GB News understands.

Membership of Reform UK costs £25 per year, meaning the party has been handed around £25,000 in one day.

Party leader Richard Tice told GB News: "A record number of over 1,000 new members joining Reform in one day is proof just how popular Lee Anderson is with many Red Wall voters.

"Why he will be such a powerful Red Wall champion for us".

Home Secretary James Cleverly expressed disappointment at the MP for Ashfield's decision to defect, saying: “I think he’s made a real mistake."

He added: "As he has said, in his own words, Reform is not the answer, and a vote for Reform will only let in a Labour government.”

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