What are the Reclaim pledges four Tory MPs have signed up to?

Dame Andrea Jenkyns is one of the Conservative Party candidates who has agreed to support Reclaim’s “four commitments to culture”.

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 04: Andrea Jenkyns, UK Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Skills, Further and Higher Education attends an education panel at the Conservative Party Conference on October 4, 2022 in Birmingham, England. This year the Conservative Party Conference will be looking at
Dame Andrea Jenkyns has signed up for pledges from the right-wing Reclaim Party in exchange for campaign donations. (Getty)

Four Conservative Party candidates have signed up to pledges from the minor, right-wing Reclaim Party in exchange for campaign donations of £5,000 each.

Tory candidates Dame Andrea Jenkyns, Brendan Clarke-Smith, Karl McCartney and Marco Longhi, have all agreed to support Reclaim’s self-described “four commitments to culture”.

These consist of: leaving the European Court of Human Rights, repealing the Human Rights Act, banning all forms of gender reassignment and reforming the Equality Act.

The backing comes amid considerable upheaval for Rishi Sunak's party. Many pollings have projected disastrous results for the Conservatives with Reform UK's Nigel Farage ramping up the pressure still further in the past week by claiming he plans to "take over" the party in the coming years.

The four promises are not aligned with the Conservative Party's official policies, and the MPs signing up to them prior to the general election on 4 July could be seen as undermining the prime minister's authority.

Reclaim is strongly associated with the so-called ‘culture wars’, and according to its website, the party exists to challenge “woke orthodoxy” and promote “freedom of speech”, which it views as being “under grave peril”.

Candidate Laurence Fox (Reclaim Party) addresses hustings for the Uxbridge and South Ruislip by-election at Brunel University in Uxbridge on 13 July 2023 in London, United Kingdom. A by-election was triggered in Uxbridge and South Ruislip when former Prime Minister Boris Johnson resigned in advance of a judgment from Parliament's Privileges Committee. (photo by Mark Kerrison/In Pictures via Getty Images)
Laurence Fox, leader of the Reclaim Party. (Getty)

Reclaim itself has not enjoyed success since it was set up in 2020 by the British actor turned political activist Laurence Fox. In the 2023 Uxbridge and South Ruislip by-election, Fox picked up 2.3% of the vote; in the 2021 North Shropshire by-election, Martin Daubney received just 375 votes. Fox was due to stand in the 2024 London Mayor election but reportedly failed to fill in the nomination forms correctly.

Despite this, it has not stopped the four MPs from agreeing to the policies, with Jenkyns saying she had always backed campaigns “I truly believe in".

Jenkyns said: “I’ve already thought for some of these things. But while [Nigel Farage’s Reform UK] have a scorched earth policy and are trying to destroy true conservatism, Reclaim are taking a grown up approach. They realise it is important that as true common sense conservatives we unite and take the fight to the Labour Party and we try to stop the dangerous Starmer and Rayner government.”

Her are Reclaim's 'four commitments to culture' pledges:

Pledge: Leave the European Court of Human Rights, so that we can ensure sovereign control of our borders and cap immigration.

Reclaim says: "A nation is not a nation without control of its borders and the ability to make its own laws. We will end illegal immigration and stop the scourge of human trafficking. We believe in the national interest and our heritage. The UK should build alliances to counter anti-western forces.”

Sunak has recently indicated he would be prepared to leave the ECHR, a position that has reportedly angered many moderate Conservatives.

Pledge: To repeal the Human Rights Act and bring in a British bill of rights to ensure free speech is protected for all.

Reclaim says: “The UK will leave the European Convention Human Rights, incorporating articles 8, your right to respect for your private and family life, and 10, freedom of expression, into a new British Bill of Rights.”

In June 2023, the government shelved controversial plans to introduce a Bill of Rights, which would have replaced the Human Rights Act 1998. Concerns had long been raised by parliamentarians, lawyers, and human rights organisations, among others, over the proposals for a new Bill of Rights

Marco Longhi, MP for Dudley North speaking at the public meeting in Himley near Dudley, West Midlands, regarding the Crooked House pub, more than a week after its burnt-out shell was demolished following a suspected arson attack. Picture date: Wednesday August 16, 2023. (Photo by Jacob King/PA Images via Getty Images)
Tory candidate Marco Longhi has also signed up for the pledges. (Getty Images)

Pledge: To ban all forms of gender reassignment for children to defend childhood and the family.

Reclaim says: “Children deserve to be innocent and not indoctrinated.

"The government classifies Transgenderism as an ideology. Sections 406-407 of the Education Act 1996 make clear that schools cannot promote political positions by teaching one side of a debate in a one-sided, partisan way. This Commitment calls for that legislation to be honoured by schools."

The Equality Act (2010) states: "A person has the protected characteristic of gender reassignment if the person is proposing to undergo, is undergoing or has undergone a process (or part of a process) for the purpose of reassigning the person's sex by changing physiological or other attributes of sex."

Pledge: To reform the Equality Act with the aim of eliminating sex and race-based discrimination.

Reform says: “The Reclaim Party would also reform the Equality Act, to provide genuine equality, as opposed to the hierarchies of characteristics which it does today.”

It adds: “We believe in equality and respect for all, irrespective of ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation. Belief in equality requires the depoliticisation of national institutions (Police, Civil Service, the National Trust etc).”

The Equality Act protects people from discriminated against in a range of settings. It is against the law to discriminate against anyone because of age, gender reassignment, being married or in a civil partnership, being pregnant or on maternity leave, disability, race (including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin), religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation.

It means everyone is protected by law at work, in education, as a consumer, when using public services, when buying or renting property, or as a member or guest of a private club or association

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