Renew Party

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Renew Party
Founded19 February 2018 (2018-02-19)
Dissolved1 February 2022 (2022-02-01)
Merged intoTrue and Fair Party
Headquarters151 Battersea Rise
SW11 1HP[1]
Political positionCentre[3]
Colours  Blue   Pink

The Renew Party was a minor centrist political party in the United Kingdom.[3][4] It was set up in 2017 to provide an alternative for moderate voters in the wake of the 2016 United Kingdom European Union membership referendum. The party described itself as wanting to reform existing political structures and did not identify with either left-wing or right-wing ideologies.[5] It welcomed candidates and members from non-political backgrounds.[6]

One of the party's main positions was to advocate that the UK should be part of the European Union, although it also emphasised investment in education, sustainable development and environmental protection as key values.[5] James Clarke had led the party since July 2020, with Carla Burns as deputy leader.[7]

The party merged into the newly formed True and Fair Party on 1 February 2022.[8]


Renew was founded by Sandra Khadhouri, a former UN worker;[9][10] Chris Coghlan, a former Foreign and Commonwealth Office anti-terror officer;[11] James Clarke, a tech business development consultant;[12] and James Torrance,[13] an accountant and former Conservative.[14] Coghlan, Clarke and Torrance ran as independents in Battersea, Bermondsey and Southwark and Kensington respectively in the 2017 general election.

Renew was registered with the Electoral Commission in autumn 2017, and the party officials were named as Torrance (leader), Clarke (nominating officer) and David Britten (treasurer).[1] The party was launched on 19 February 2018 at a press conference in London.[15] Following its launch, the party embarked on a "Listen to Britain" tour of the UK, visiting 22 towns and cities and liaising with locals and supporters, addressing schools, holding campaign events and conducting over 5,000 surveys.[16][15]

On 2 March 2018, James Cousins, a former Conservative and latterly independent councillor of Wandsworth London Borough Council joined Renew, giving the party its first seat in local government.[9] He subsequently lost his seat in the May 2018 local election. John Ferrett, a former Labour councillor in Portsmouth, joined Renew in 2018,[17] but in 2019 was listed as a non-aligned independent.[18]

In September 2018, Renew formed an electoral alliance with Advance Together, with Advance Together's Annabel Mullin joining the leadership team.[19] While the party at first had three leaders – Mullin, Torrance and Clarke[16] – Mullin was later described as leader,[20] with the party's website describing Torrance and Clarke as deputy leaders. Mullin stepped down as leader on 7 June 2019 and was replaced by the independent MEP for the Southwest of England and Gibraltar, Julie Girling.[21]

On 15 April 2019, the party announced that it was preparing to wind up its 2019 European election campaign in order to support Change UK.[22]

On 31 October 2019, Renew announced 51 candidates in England, Scotland and Wales in advance of the general election scheduled for 12 December.[23] On 13 November, it said that only four of these would stand, in Bromley and Chislehurst, Edinburgh North and Leith, Hackney North and Stoke Newington and Sefton Central, in order to improve the chances of remain-supporting candidates in the other 47 seats.[24]

On 7 July 2020, Renew announced the results of its leadership election, with James Clarke elected as Leader and Carla Burns as Deputy Leader.[7]

On 1 February 2022, the Renew Party announced that it had merged its operations into the new True and Fair Party, founded by Gina Miller a few weeks earlier.[8]


According to party accounts filed with the Electoral Commission, Renew had an income of £29,480 in 2017, all donations having come from Richard Breen.[25] In the first four months of 2018, Breen donated another £118,916. A further £23,000 was donated by Roderick Thackray.[26] Thackray has been a partner in Breen's business, Sutney LLP,[27] since 2014.[28]

After February 2018, Renew received over a thousand[citation needed] small donations from supporters. In March, the party crowdfunded £17,170 for its "Listen to Britain" tour[29] and in summer 2018 launched its party membership scheme[30] and raised funds through this channel.


Torrance described Renew as a moderate, centrist party[13] which Clarke identified as "centre-right on the economy and centre-left socially".[16]

According to the party's website, its core aim was to renew UK politics, address inequality and division in the country and reform the system.[31] It advocated extensive local devolution and the introduction of proportional representation. The party also aimed to tackle homelessness via a crown corporation tasked with developing and delivering affordable housing[32] and pledged to expand the national healthcare budget while improving efficiency and accountability in the NHS.[5] The party's economic policy focused on fostering innovation and investment-driven growth within a regulated free-market system.[5] The party also promoted environmental sustainability via the widespread use of renewables and developing investment in green technology.[33]

The party was compared to Emmanuel Macron's En Marche! party in France[34] and received support from the French MP Amélie de Montchalin, who was the whip of the majority in the French National Assembly at that time. The party campaigned throughout the UK[16][35] and attended the People's Vote marches of October 2018 and March 2019, alongside other pro-European individuals and groups.[36]

Following the 2019 general election, Renew announced its intention to refocus on reform, participation and openness.[37] In 2021, the party announced a shift away from anti-Brexit politics. Renew's position on Europe was set out as regaining access to the single market and customs union.[38]

Electoral performance[edit]

In the 2018 local elections, the party stood 16 candidates in London and the North East. It won no seats, with James Cousins losing his seat in Wandsworth.[39]

June Davies was the Renew candidate in the 2019 Newport West by-election, finishing in seventh place with 879 votes (3.7%).[40]

The party's then leader, Annabel Mullin, stood as a candidate for London in the 2019 European election[41] as part of a temporary electoral alliance with Change UK. Five other Renew candidates were selected to stand in Scotland, Wales, Yorkshire & Humber and London.[42] The total number of national votes cast for the combined slate was 571,846.[citation needed]

On 2 May, the party returned John Bates as a local councillor for Morecambe, Torrisholme Ward.[43]

For the 2019 Peterborough by-election, Renew worked with the Liberal Democrats, the Green Party and Change UK to support a "unity remain candidate", but the plan broke down at the last minute.[44] In the event, Renew's candidate, Peter Ward, finished 13th out of 15 candidates.[45] The party chose not to stand a candidate for the 2019 Brecon and Radnorshire by-election "to give a Remain candidate the best chance of winning".[46]

In the 2019 general election, Renew stood down 47 of its 51 announced candidates as part of the Unite to Remain pact to promote a Remain Alliance.[47] Renew stood four candidates in Edinburgh, Kent, Merseyside and North London.[24]

Kam Balayev ran as the Renew candidate for London Mayor, coming in 18th place out of 20 candidates with 0.3% of the vote.

In 2021, Volt Europa's Scotland branch, Volt Scotland, formed an electoral pact with Renew Scotland which meant Volt Scotland standing its candidates alongside Renew's under the Renew party list for the 2021 Scottish Parliament election.[48] For the Scottish Parliament elections, Renew backed a multiple-choice referendum on the issue of Scottish independence like its Volt Scotland counterparts.[49] Renew candidates received 493 votes or 0.02% of the vote for their regional lists and failed to return any MSPs.


By-elections 2017–2019[edit]

Date of election Constituency Candidate Votes %
4 April 2019 Newport West June Davies 879 3.7[50]
6 June 2019 Peterborough Peter Ward 45 0.1[51]

2019 general election[edit]

Constituency Candidate Votes %
Bromley and Chislehurst Jyoti Dialani 119 0.3[52]
Edinburgh North and Leith Heather Astbury 138 0.2[53]
Hackney North and Stoke Newington Haseeb Ur-Rehman 151 0.3[54]
Sefton Central Carla Burns 137 0.3[55]


  1. ^ a b "Registration summary: Renew". The Electoral Commission. Retrieved 5 January 2022.
  2. ^ "Renew Party announces candidate for Newport West by-election". South Wales Argus.
  3. ^ a b Watts, Joe (21 April 2018). "Millions of people feel politically homeless and would back new centre ground party". The Independent. Retrieved 19 May 2018. ... the centrist party said it could appeal to voters ...; Chakelian, Anoosh (22 May 2018). "'We're out, accept it!': on the road with Renew – the new political party trying to reverse Brexit". The New Statesman. Retrieved 5 November 2018. '... it is a challenge for us to say centrism's something worth fighting for.'; Wright, Robert (14 October 2017). "New anti-Brexit party hopes to capture UK politics centre ground". Financial Times. London. Retrieved 5 November 2018. ... a new centrist party ...
  4. ^ MacAskill, Andrew; Faulconbridge, Guy (19 February 2018). "New British party inspired by Macron seeks to overturn Brexit". Reuters. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d "Our Vision" (PDF). Renew Party. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  6. ^ "Our Vision" (PDF). Renew Party. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
    - "Interview: Renew - UK's New Centrist Anti-Brexit Party". Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  7. ^ a b "Renew Announces Leadership Changes". Renew Party. 7 July 2020. Retrieved 7 July 2020.
  8. ^ a b "Press release: True & Fair Party Strengthened by Renew Party Coming on Board" (PDF). True & Fair Party. 1 February 2022. Retrieved 2 February 2022.
  9. ^ a b Gavin, Harvey (9 March 2018). "We were lied to! New 'Renew' party hopes to overturn Brexit". Daily Express. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  10. ^ Kevin Schofield, "New anti-Brexit party launches bid to keep 'conflict zone' Britain in the EU", Politics Home, 19 February 2018. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  11. ^ Robert, Wright (14 October 2017). "New anti-Brexit party hopes to capture UK politics centre ground". Financial Times. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
    - "How Renew Britain aims to start a ‘tech revolution’", The Stack, 4 May 2018
  12. ^ Quigley, Rosie (19 May 2017). "Insurtech guru to stand as MP to protect start-ups". Insurance Post. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
  13. ^ a b Torrance, James. "This is why we've set up Renew". The Independent. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  14. ^ Williamson, David (27 February 2018). "A new political party recruiting in Wales is aiming to stop Brexit". WalesOnline. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  15. ^ a b "Our Story". Renew Party. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  16. ^ a b c d Chakelian, Anoosh (22 May 2018). ""We're out, accept it!": on the road with Renew – the new political party trying to reverse Brexit". New Statesman. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
  17. ^ Neilan, Catherine (1 May 2018). "Third councillor defects to centrist party Renew". City A.M. Archived from the original on 2 May 2018. Retrieved 2 May 2018.
  18. ^ Portsmouth City Council: Councillor John Ferrett
  19. ^ "New Alliance of the Renew Party and Advance Together". Renew Party. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
  20. ^ "New anti-Brexit party 'Renew' voices support for Gibraltar". GBC. Gibraltar Broadcasting Corporation. 3 December 2018. Retrieved 31 January 2019.
  21. ^ @RenewParty (7 June 2019). "@AnnabelMullin will be stepping down as leader ... @juliegirling will be stepping in as interim leader" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  22. ^ "'Misleading' logo The Independent Group are banned from using in Euro elections". Daily Mirror. 16 April 2019. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
    - "Renew Party". Renew Party. 15 April 2019. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
    - Morris, James (15 April 2019). "Brexit news latest: Renew Party folds to 'help' Independent Group in European elections". Evening Standard. Retrieved 16 April 2019.
  23. ^ "The Renew Party has announced 51 candidates in advance of the upcoming general election", Renew Party website, 31 October 2019
  24. ^ a b "Renew Announces Final Candidate List Ahead of General Election". Renew Party. 13 November 2019. Retrieved 7 July 2020.
  25. ^ Renew Statement of Accounts 2017, published by The Electoral Commission on 31 July 2018. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  26. ^ Register of donations, Electoral Commission. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  27. ^ Sutney LLP, Companies House. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  28. ^ Appointment of a member of a Limited Liability Partnership, Companies House 17 April 2014. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  29. ^ "The Renew 'Listen to Britain' Tour". Crowdfunder UK. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  30. ^ "Join us as a member". Renew Party. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  31. ^ "Our vision". Renew Party. Retrieved 21 September 2020.
  32. ^ "Compassion". Renew Party. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  33. ^ "Investment". Renew Party. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  34. ^ "Inspired by Macron, new anti-Brexit party launches in Britain". Euractiv. 20 February 2018. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  35. ^ BBC Interviews (Television). Renew Britain via YouTube. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
  36. ^ "The People's Vote March for the Future". Renew Britain. 21 October 2018. Retrieved 21 October 2018.
  37. ^ "Renew 2020 plans". Renew Party. Retrieved 7 July 2020.
  38. ^ "Headline Positions". Renew Party. Renew Party. Retrieved 5 January 2022.
  39. ^ "Shaftesbury Ward results". Wandsworth LBC. Wandsworth London Borough Council. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  40. ^ "Newport West by-election: Labour holds on to seat". BBC News. 5 April 2019. Retrieved 5 April 2019.
  41. ^ EUROPEAN PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION -LONDON: Thursday 23 May 2019: List of Parties and Individual Candidates Nominated and Notice of Poll. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  42. ^ Williams, Jay (1 May 2019). "Six Renew Party members to stand for Change UK in European Elections". HITC. Retrieved 9 July 2019.
  43. ^ "Parish and town council results 2019". Lancaster City Council.
  44. ^ Perring, Rebecca (10 May 2019). "Remainers ABANDON Peterborough by-election blaming LABOUR for anti-Brexit campaign flop". Retrieved 28 June 2019.
  45. ^ Fiona Leishman, "Peterborough by-election 2019 result: City elects Labour candidate Lisa Forbes", Cambridgeshire Live, 7 June 2019
  46. ^ "Great news for Remain unity: Renew is standing aside in the Brecon by-election". New Statesman. 28 June 2019. Retrieved 8 July 2019.
  47. ^ "Renew and Unite to Remain Joint Statement". Renew Party. 13 November 2019. Retrieved 7 July 2020.
  48. ^ "Volt Scotland is standing with Renew for Scotland 2021". Volt UK. Retrieved 5 April 2021.
  49. ^ "Renew Scotland, Our Proposal for Scotland's Future". Renew Scotland. Retrieved 5 April 2021.
  50. ^ "Newport West By-election results". Newport City Council.
  51. ^ "Peterborough By-election declaration of results of poll" (PDF). Peterborough Council.
  52. ^ "Bromley & Chislehurst Parliamentary constituency", BBC News, 13 December 2019. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
  53. ^ "Edinburgh North and Leith Parliamentary constituency", BBC News, 13 December 2019. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
  54. ^ "Hackney North and Stoke Newington Parliamentary constituency", BBC News, 13 December 2019. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
  55. ^ "Sefton Central Parliamentary constituency", BBC News, 13 December 2019. Retrieved 16 December 2019.