Nigel Farage’s plans to rebrand the Brexit Party as anti-lockdown ‘Reform UK’ is being challenged by a think tank with the same name as bosses fear it could ‘undermine’ their work
- Nigel Farage plans to rebrand the Brexit Party as the anti-lockdown Reform UK
- Reform think tank has argued the name change could lead to ‘voter confusion’
- They have written to Electoral Commission appealing for change to be blocked
Nigel Farage’s plan to rebrand the Brexit Party as the anti-lockdown Reform UK has hit a snag.
The Reform think tank has written to the Electoral Commission to complain about the proposed name change, arguing it could lead to ‘voter confusion’.
The think tank, which argues for public service reform, has also written to Mr Farage asking him to reconsider.
The Brexit Party has applied to the Electoral Commission to formally change its name, with Mr Farage arguing that as well as keeping an eye on Boris Johnson’s negotiations with the EU ‘further reform in many other areas’ is needed.
Leader of the Brexit Party Nigel Farage (pictured) wants to change the party’s name to Reform UK. The Electoral Commission has not yet approved the name change
Party chairman Richard Tice has said a new coronavirus strategy is needed ‘so that we learn to live with it, not hide in fear of it’.
The party – which hopes to capitalise on anti-lockdown sentiment – believes the most pertinent issue is ‘the Government’s woeful response to coronavirus’.
In its letter to Mr Farage, the think tank Reform said: ‘We are determinedly independent and strictly non-party political.
‘As a charity, this independence is absolutely core to our reputation and work, and therefore the longstanding goodwill in our name.’
It warned Mr Farage that ‘renaming the Brexit Party ‘Reform UK’ risks undermining that goodwill through the confusion and/or presumed association with a political party’.
The think tank’s director Charlotte Pickles, who wrote to Bob Posner, Chief Executive of the Electoral Commission, and Nigel Farage to express concerns
The think tank’s director Charlotte Pickles wrote to Bob Posner, Chief Executive of the Electoral Commission, explaining its fears over the name change
The think tank’s director Charlotte Pickles said: ‘We are flattered that Mr Farage would want to copy our name, however in doing so he is undermining almost two decades of work establishing our reputation for producing genuinely reformist and evidence-based policy research.
‘We are a small charity and our independent, non-party political status is absolutely central to our ability to raise funds to support our work.
‘We are kindly asking Mr Farage and the Brexit Party to consider our very serious concerns and pick a different name.’
The think tank Reform also shared a letter written by their director Charlotte Pickles to Nigel Farage explaining the ‘confusion’ they believed his plans would cause
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