Richard Tice eviscerates Rishi Sunak's record as he gives update on Nigel Farage return to stop 'Starmergeddon'

Richard Tice eviscerates Rishi Sunak's record as he gives update on Nigel Farage return to stop 'Starmergeddon'

Richard Tice says the Tories are responsible for breaking Britain

Jack Walters

By Jack Walters

Published: 03/01/2024

- 11:17

Updated: 05/01/2024

- 20:32

Richard Tice set out Reform UK's 2024 election strategy during a press conference in Westminster

Reform UK leader Richard Tice has lashed out at Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer as he sets out his stall ahead of the upcoming general election.

Tice, 59, who took over as leader of the rebranded Brexit Party from Nigel Farage in March 2021, held a press conference in Westminster as he accused the Prime Minister of failing to deliver on his five commitments.

Tice appeared hellbent on taking advantage of dissatisfaction among traditional Tory voters over immigration, with Conservative support continuing to plummet.

He said: "The biggest betrayal of all, by this Government, is on immigration.

\u200bRichard Tice set out Reform UK's 2024 election strategy during a press conference in WestminsterRichard Tice set out Reform UK's 2024 election strategy during a press conference in WestminsterGETTY

"They promised, they absolutely promised, election after election, particularly when we were going to get Brexit done, that they were going to bring down lawful immigration.

"And yet they've deliberately done the exact opposite. They've betrayed the people, in particular they've betrayed Brexit voters and the working-class voters.

"They have opened the borders to mass, uncontrolled immigration on a scale that this country has never seen before."

Sunak pledged to stop boats crossing the Channel, cut NHS waiting lists, reduce national debt, grow the economy and halve inflation.

However, the Prime Minister has so far only succeeded with one of his commitments after the Consumer Price Index fell from 10.7 per cent to 3.9 per cent.

Tice, who urged voters to trust Reform UK to "save Britain", also expressed concern about Britain's "flatlining economy" due to over-regulation and high taxes.

Rishi SunakRishi SunakPA

He reaffirmed Reform UK's commitment to stand in all 632 seats of England, Wales and Scotland.

The 59-year-old revealed: "You've all broken Britain, you're all responsible. There's no special deals. We stand in every single seat in England, Scotland and Wales."

Farage opted to stand down candidates against sitting Tory MPs in the 2019 General Election to ensure Boris Johnson's Brexit deal got over the line.

However, Tice also landed some blows against the Leader of the Opposition.

The former Brexit Party MEP, who played a leading role in the Leave.EU campaign in 2016, said: "Starmergeddon is a risk near you in 2024.

"We are facing a catastrophic cocktail of economic incompetence and cultural pillage which will be a disaster for the United Kingdom because, of course, in every Labour Government, in every socialist way, they want more taxes, they want more of your money.

Ben Habib

Ben Habib


"Unbelievably, they want to get closer to the failing, sclerotic, recessionary European Union."

Tice appeared to double-down on his pitch to working-class Britons, adding: "The Labour Party was founded supposedly to protect and promote the working-class but with more mass immigration you get exactly the opposite."

Reform UK also unveiled its candidate to contest the upcoming by-election in Wellingborough after constituents signed a recall position against longstanding Tory MP Peter Bone over bullying and sexual misconduct claims.

Ben Habib, who serves as co-deputy leader of Reform UK and sat as a Brexit Party MEP for London, will represent the populist party and hope to court disaffected Tory voters.

He said: "The reason I am standing in Wellingborough is because it is not sufficient anymore simply to defeat the Tories.

"We have to lead the way, Reform UK has to lead the way and get seats in Parliament."

Keir Starmer

Keir Starmer


The Brexit-backing businessman added: "If I am elected, I will stand in the Commons and hold this wretched Government to account to the very best of my ability, for the people of Wellingborough and the great British people."

Habib suggested Reform UK could use Britain's politically "febrile" atmosphere to win a dozen or so seats at the general election.

Wellingborough could prove fertile ground for Tice and Habib, with 64 per cent of voters backing Brexit in 2016.

More than 62 per cent of voters supported Bone in 2019 and Ukip previously leapfrogged Labour into second place in 2015 after receiving 19.6 per cent.

However, Labour and the Liberal Democrats will hope to emulate recent successes in by-elections held in recent years.

Nigel FarageNigel FaragePA

The Tory Party have seen enormous majorities whittled away in Tamworth, Mid Befordshire, Somerton & Frome, Selby & Ainsty, Tiverton & Honiton, North Shropshire and Chesham & Amersham.

Populist parties have also historically struggled to break the two-party system, with Ukip only recording two by-election gains in Clacton and Rochester & Strood in 2014.

Farage, who fell agonisingly short of winning in Thanet South in 2015, returned just one MP to the Commons despite receiving 12.6 per cent of the vote nationally.

It remains to be seen whether Farage will return to the political frontline.

Addressing speculation about Farage, Tice said: "We've been talking over the Christmas period and he is obviously giving a lot of thought to the extent of the role he wants to play in helping Reform UK save Britain.

Richard Holden appears on Question TimeRichard Holden was asked the same question eight timesBBC

"He is still assessing that and as and when we have all collectively come to a decision, obviously, we look forward to letting everybody know."

But the Tory Party have rejected the suggestion that voters should trust Reform UK, warning it would only let Starmer into Downing Street.

Chairman of the Conservative Party, Richard Holden MP, said: “A vote for Reform will only strengthen Labour’s hand – that means a vote for Labour’s £28 billion a year spending splurge, driving up taxes for hardworking families.

“The Conservative Government is focused on long-term decisions for the country – stopping the boats, driving down inflation and cutting taxes. If voters want real action to deliver a brighter future, the Conservatives are the only choice.”

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