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Reform Party Tensions Emerge as Deputy Leader Ousted by Farage



Tensions within Reform UK have come to the fore after Nigel Farage ousted two longstanding deputy leaders and made significant changes at the party’s top echelons.

Ben Habib, a former Brexit Party MEP who has been co-deputy leader since March 2023, expressed his concerns after Farage informed him of being replaced by the Reform MP Richard Tice.

Habib mentioned issues regarding the control of the party and decision-making processes in his statement, hinting at the unique structure of Reform UK that limits member input and oversight on Farage’s directives.

The influential businessman Zia Yusuf, who has emerged as a key funder for Reform, has been appointed as the party’s new chairman.

Last week, it was revealed that nearly a third of the £600,000 raised by the right-wing populist party during the election campaign’s fourth week came from Yusuf, adding a significant financial backing to the party.

Reform announced that Richard Tice, who recently stepped down as leader to make way for Farage, would transition from his role as chair to become the new deputy leader in the Commons and the party overall, replacing former deputy leaders Habib and David Bull.

The reaction from Habib, a former Conservative donor who did not secure a seat for Reform in the recent general election, exposes long-standing divisions within the party.

These tensions trace back to the formation of the Brexit Party in March 2019, which later became Reform UK in 2021.

Focused on maintaining control and avoiding internal disruptions, Farage and his associates structured the party as a company under his ownership, giving him significant influence over party decisions.

Farage emphasized in a party statement that these changes aim to professionalize Reform UK and drive positive political transformation.

Habib’s tweet indicated that he is contemplating his position following his removal and underscored the importance of the party staying true to its commitments to the British people.

Earlier discord surfaced when Farage disregarded an agreement, negotiated by Habib, to provide support to Traditional Unionist Voice (TUV) candidates in Northern Ireland.

Rachel Adams

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