Reform UK spokesperson issues blunt response to reports of Lee Anderson defection offer

Reform UK spokesperson issues blunt response to reports of Lee Anderson defection offer
Richard Tice denies Reform UK offered Lee Anderson money to join party
Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg, BBC

Lee Anderson, the deputy chairman of the Conservative Party and GB News host dubbed “30p Lee” over his comments on foodbank users, is back in the news again, as he’s claimed Reform UK – the party launched as The Brexit Party by ex-Ukip leader Nigel Farage – offered him “a lot of money” to ditch the Tories for the party.

In a leaked recording of a South Cambridgeshire Conservative Association event last month, obtained by The Times, Anderson told activists in attendance that “a political party that begins with an R” offered him money to join them.

“I say a lot of money, I mean a lot of money,” he added.

And in comments similar to Nadine Dorries’ refusing to name a No 10 adviser only to do so seconds later, Anderson was more explicit about who he was referring to when he said he “wouldn’t join them” because of the Mid Bedfordshire by-election a week after the gathering and “Reform have got a candidate”.

Well, there aren’t many other mainstream political parties beginning with an R, to be fair to Lee, but he didn’t need to be so cryptic in the first place if he was going to say it anyway…

He continued: “If Reform are going to make any inroads at the next general election, they’ve got to win that seat in Mid Beds – and they won’t. They’ll probably come third and lose their deposit."

They actually did worse than that. Their candidate Dave Holland came fifth with just 1,487 votes (for comparison, Labour's candidate Alistair Strathern won with 13,872 votes), which translates to a miniscule 3.7 per cent vote share.

Anderson said: “All they want, Reform – and I spoke to the leaders of Reform – they want PR, which is proportional representation. They are hell-bent and want us to get hammered in the next election, because they firmly believe that Labour will bring in PR.

“At the election after that [the 2029 election] - in five to six years’ time, whenever it is – under PR, if Reform get five to six million votes, that gives them about 40 seats in parliament.”

He also expressed fears that Conservatives are “done for… for generations” as he is “convinced” Labour will introduce votes for 16-year-olds, and that “a vote for Reform is a vote for Labour”.

Formerly known as The Brexit Party, Reform UK certainly seem to be gearing up for next year’s election, as they’ve tweaked their name to remind voters of their origins by calling themselves “Reform UK: The Brexit party”.

Anyone else remember The Independent Group for Change, formerly known as The Independent Group and then Change UK – The Independent Group?

Anyway, while Anderson’s comments have caused a bit of a stir, a Reform UK spokesperson’s remarks to The Times about the Tory MP’s claims are just as wild, branding him a “plank”.

Denying the party had the funds to “do anything dodgy – not that it would do anything”, the individual added: “We might be able to buy him a pint but that’s about it. This is all about damaging Reform UK at a time where we are surging in the polls.

“The Tories are terrified because they can see Reform UK is likely to take more votes from them than Labour and they are facing a potential wipeout.”

The party’s leader, Richard Tice, has also insisted “no cash or money has in any way been offered” and that “desperate Tories will make desperate lies to save their skin”.

The whole situation has already sparked ridicule online:

And on top of all this, honorary president of Reform UK, Nigel Farage, can’t comment on the situation because he’s over in Australia partaking in grisly trials on I'm A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!

What a world we live in…

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