A 'Tory' MP joins Reform, the far-right British party

The British extreme right, following the trend of what is happening in much of Europe, is now also represented in the Commons after Lee Anderson, former vice president of the Conservative Party, has moved to Reform, the far-right, xenophobic and eurosceptic group.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
11 March 2024 Monday 10:27
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A 'Tory' MP joins Reform, the far-right British party

The British extreme right, following the trend of what is happening in much of Europe, is now also represented in the Commons after Lee Anderson, former vice president of the Conservative Party, has moved to Reform, the far-right, xenophobic and eurosceptic group. which is supported by around 11% of the electorate.

“I want my country back,” proclaimed Anderson – the son of a miner and whose political journey began in Labor – to explain his transfuguism, a new blow for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who is nothing short of scary. The UK's majoritarian electoral system makes it very difficult for Reform (or any other fringe party) to win seats, but it could do a lot of damage to the Conservatives by dividing the right-wing vote and turning the presumed Labor victory into a landslide.

Anderson has dealt the blow to Sunak after being suspended for stating in an interview that the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, a Muslim of Pakistani descent, “has handed London over to his Islamist friends”, an idea that in more or less language Similar elements are also propagated by elements of the conservative extreme right, such as former Interior Minister Suella Bravermann. Its objective is to push the party to much more radical positions on immigration, the culture war, the environment and tax burden.

Between 22 and 28 points behind Labor in the polls months before the elections (possibly in November), an important Tory sector considers that the only way to stop the coup would be an electoral alliance of the entire right with a radical program of reduction of taxes, austerity, cutting state subsidies for those who do not work, revolution in public health to make it payable, reduction of decarbonization objectives and defense of traditional values ​​regarding identity, race and gender.

Lee Anderson represents a seat on the so-called “red wall”, the former Labor strongholds in the north of England who believed in Boris Johnson's promises to equalize the country and invest in depressed regions, and helped give him an absolute majority to do so. Brexit reality. These are socially conservative voters, with a stale version of patriotism, who blame their economic problems on globalization and the arrival of immigrants (750,000 last year), nostalgic for the past, concerned about the increase in crime and defenders of colonization and English imperial identity. For them, as for many Trump voters, the pendulum of diversity and gender equality has swung too far in the other direction, and now it is white Christian men who find themselves discriminated against.

The turncoat parliamentarian, a first-class populist and excellent speaker, with a good platform on the GB News television channel (the British Fox), wants to establish himself as the tribune of those voters dissatisfied with Sunak's management of the country's decline, and be the face of the far right in the elections unless Nigel Farage, one of the architects of Brexit, decides to run or campaign. In any case, it is an appetizer of the great battle that is brewing after the elections, if Labour's victory is confirmed, for control of the Conservative Party and the future direction of the right in the United Kingdom.