Farage pledges to stand against SNP as new party ‘brings back’ debate against Sturgeon

Nigel Farage: Reform Party will have voice in Scottish Parliament

Nigel Farage said the Reform Party will have a voice in Scottish Parliament, adding that there is not enough “debate” in Scotland. He pledged his party would take on Nicola Sturgeon’s campaign to bring Scotland out of the United Kingdom. Mr Farage also welcomed Michelle Ballantyne as the Reform Party’s new leader in Scotland, calling her someone who was not afraid to “stand up and fight.”

In a video message to Reform Party supporters on Twitter, Mr Farage said: “The Reform Party is up and running, we got last week confirmation from the Electoral Commission, the Brexit Party is no more – it did its job I’m very happy to say.

“But Reform, that is about a much bigger agenda. It is about how we are governed but it is. also about the fact, we don’t have enough debate.

“Now of course in Scotland, there is a debate between those who want to separate from the United Kingdom and be part of the European Union and those who want the union to survive.

“But on virtually everything else debate has ceased.”

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Michelle Ballantyne, who quit the Scottish Tories last year, was also unveiled by Reform Party chairman Richard Tice as the group’s leader north of the border.

Addressing the announcement, Mr Farage said: “There is no opposition coming from the Scottish Conservatives or anybody else to the SNP’s woke agenda. Well, somebody who is prepared to stand up and have genuine open, democratic debate and conservation is Michelle Ballantyne. 

“As you know she is an MSP and she prepared to stand up and fights and for that reason, I am delighted that she is coming on board with the Reform Party.

“I am hoping she will spearhead the campaign for the Scottish Parliament this year though I don’t really think those elections are going to happen.”

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Last week the electoral commission confirmed it had given permission for Mr Farage’s Brexit Party to be renamed as Reform UK.

In May, Scotland is due to hold its parliamentary elections, which were originally due to take place last year before being delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Polling indicates Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP is currently set to win a majority when Scots go to the polls, with the SNP planning to claim their victory gives them a mandate for a new independence referendum

Boris Johnson has indicated he will refuse to grant consent for a new independence vote in any circumstances, arguing the 2014 referendum settled the issue for a generation.

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Speaking on Monday morning Ms Ballantyne set out the positive case for Scotland remaining in the UK.

She said: “We are pro Scotland and pro the UK because we believe it is simply the best choice for the people of these islands.

“Why? Because it is the most successful union ever created.

Last year the South Scotland MSP ran for the Scottish Tory leadership but was beaten to the position by Jackson Carlaw.

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