Richard Tice is to stand in the forthcoming Old Bexley and Sidcup by-election, as his Reform UK party claiming Boris Johnson misled Tory voters with a “highly-taxed, highly-regulated nanny state”.
Mr Tice leads Reform UK, formerly the Brexit Party, which campaigns against Covid lockdowns and high taxation.
The party says it has the support of around six per cent of voters in the Old Bexley and Sidcup seat and plans to use the by-election to send a “powerful message to Boris Johnson and his Cabinet” following this week’s high-spending Budget.
The by-election in Bexley follows the death of James Brokenshire from lung cancer at the age of 53 earlier this month.
At the last election, Mr Brokenshire won a majority of almost 19,000 votes. But Reform UK figures point to the success of Ukip in the seat in 2015, when the party’s candidate, Catherine Reilly, secured 18 per cent of the vote.
They hope Mr Tice can dent the Tory majority and send a message to Downing Street that Right-leaning voters are frustrated with the Conservative Party.
“Voters did not expect the Boris product to deliver ‘Consocialism’, being a highly-taxed, highly-regulated nanny state,” said Mr Tice. “The Boris product now means the highest overall taxes for 70 years and the lowest medium term growth forecasts for 60 years.
“It means authoritarian controls and record long waiting lists. It means much higher energy costs even as we approach the foothills of the net zero cost mountain. It is a big disappointment to so many. The product does not deliver what was promised. The salesman has misled the voting purchaser.”