Nigel Farage is set to relaunch the Brexit Party as a new anti-lockdown party called Reform UK as he rails against the government’s “woeful” response to the coronavirus crisis.
The party, which was launched 21 months ago to put pressure on the government’s Brexit strategy, has applied to the Electoral Commission to change its name.
In an article published in The Daily Telegraph, Farage and party chairman Richard Tice said lockdowns “cause more harm than good” and blasted the government for its approach to the pandemic.
“The ‘strategy’ has been to terrify the nation into submission, coupled with a barrage of lockdowns, rules, regulations and threats,” they wrote. “It is all about playing for time, in the hope that a vaccine miraculously comes along.”
“The government has dug itself into a hole and, rather than admit its mistakes, it continues to excavate. Ministers have lost touch with a nation divided between the terrified and the furious.”
The party added that the debate over how to respond to Covid-19, which has now killed over 46,000 people in the UK, was becoming “even more toxic than that over Brexit”.
The newly-formed party will instead back the Great Barrington Declaration — a statement drafted by three scientists promoting herd immunity by shielding vulnerable people and lifting lockdowns for the young.
Thousands of scientists and medical experts around the globe have signed the declaration, though it has come under scrutiny from other health experts, while Sky News found dozens of fake names among the signatories.
The party said it would target resources at those most at risk in society, while “the rest of the population should, with good hygiene measures and a dose of common sense, get on with life.”
Farage and Tice also took aim at a number of institutions they believed needed reform, pledging to “take on powerful vested interests”.
Reform UK listed the House of Lords and the BBC, adding that “badly run, wasteful quangos are in abundance” while arguing that the House of Lords was “not fit for purpose”.