Nigel Farage to launch 'contract with the people' in Wales following poll boosts

Nigel Farage will kick off Reform UK's policies in South Wales on Monday, where he is poised to put pressure on the Tories over immigration and tax.

The Reform leader will launch his party's "contract with the people" - which they will not call a manifesto - in Merthyr Tydfil to highlight "what happens to a country when Labour is in charge".

The Senedd in Cardiff is the devolved legislature of Wales and is currently run by a Labour-administration.

The launch will follow a productive few days for Reform that saw his party overtake the Conservatives for the first time - prompting Mr Farage to declare his party the "opposition" to Labour.

Election latest: Pub registered as political party; Farage to launch Reform manifesto in Wales

His fortunes increased further after another poll by Survation for The Sunday Times showed the Tories could be reduced to just 72 seats in the next parliament, while a separate survey by Savanta for The Sunday Telegraph showed Reform up another three points.

Reform has consistently pushed the Conservatives to adopt a more hardline stance on immigration and tax cuts.

In a flavour of the policies that will be unveiled tomorrow, the party said earlier this month that it would like to see a tax on businesses who employ overseas workers.

This would see firms pay a higher 20% rate of national insurance for foreign workers, up from the current 13.8%.

Reform is also opposed to Labour's plans to end private school tax exemptions, and wants the UK to leave the European Convention on Human Rights, overseen by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg, in order to use offshore processing centres for illegal immigrants and prevent them from claiming asylum.

Some Tory candidates and former MPs on the right of the party have been agitating for Mr Sunak to advocate for an exit from the ECHR - something he has been reluctant to do but has left the door open to.

Other Reform policies include offering vouchers to go private if you can't see a GP in three days, scrapping interest on student loans, increasing police numbers, keeping "woke ideologies out of the classroom", abolishing the TV licence fee, reforming the Lords and reducing "wasteful spending".

Mr Farage used an article in The Sunday Telegraph to criticise Lord Cameron, the foreign secretary, for an interview he gave to The Times on Friday in which he urged voters to reject the Reform leader's "inflammatory language" and "dog whistle" politics.

In response, Mr Farage wrote: "If Lord Cameron is worried about damaging divisions, he should look a bit closer to home.

"The terminally divided Tory party has proved itself incapable of effective government over the past 14 years - and is set to be even more hopelessly split in opposition, after it gets hammered on 4 July."

The Reform leader will also turn his fire on Labour, saying he had chosen Wales to launch his "contract with the people" "because it shows everyone exactly what happens to a country when Labour is in charge".

"Schools are worse than in England, NHS waiting lists are longer than in England, COVID restrictions were even tighter than in England and now Welsh motorists are being soaked by literally hundreds of speed cameras to enforce the deeply unpopular new 20mph blanket speed limit in towns and villages," he said.

👉 Click here to follow Electoral Dysfunction wherever you get your podcasts 👈

"Meanwhile, the Tories have been the official opposition almost solidly since 2016 and have achieved zilch, which probably explains why we are neck-and-neck with them in the polls in Wales.

"So, if you want a picture of what the whole country will be like with a Starmer government and a feeble Conservative opposition, come to Wales and then hear us unveil a better future for all of Britain".

Read more on Sky News:
Police officer who hit cow with patrol car in Staines removed from frontline duties
Axe-wielding man shot by police near Euro 2024 fanzone in Hamburg

Rishi Sunak has repeatedly said a vote for Mr Farage's party amounted to handing a "blank cheque" to Labour, whom the polls predict will form the next government from 4 July.

The full list of candidates standing in Merthyr Tydfil and Aberdare are:

  • Workers Party of Britain - Anthony Cole

  • Communist Party of Britain - Bob Davenport

  • Independent - Lorenzo de Gregori

  • Green Party - David Griffin

  • Conservative Party - Amanda Jenner

  • Labour Party - Gerald Jones

  • Liberal Democrats - Jade Smith

  • Reform UK - Gareth Thomas

  • Plaid Cymru - Francis Whitefoot