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|Deputy leader||Carla Burns|
The Renew Party is a centrist political party in the United Kingdom. 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 describes itself as wanting to reform existing political structures and does not identify with either left-wing or right-wing ideologies. It welcomes candidates and members from non-political backgrounds.
One of the party's main positions is to advocate that the UK should be part of the European Union, although it also emphasises investment in education, sustainable development and environmental protection as key values. James Clarke has led the party since July 2020, with Carla Burns as deputy leader.
Renew was founded by Sandra Khadhouri, a former UN worker; Chris Coghlan, a former Foreign and Commonwealth Office anti-terror officer; James Clarke, a tech business development consultant; and James Torrance, an accountant and former Conservative. 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). The party was launched on 19 February 2018 at a press conference in London. 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.
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. He subsequently lost his seat in the May 2018 local election. John Ferrett, a former Labour councillor in Portsmouth, joined Renew in 2018, but in 2019 was listed as a non-aligned independent.
In September 2018, Renew formed an electoral alliance with Advance Together, with Advance Together's Annabel Mullin joining the leadership team. While the party at first had three leaders – Mullin, Torrance and Clarke – Mullin was later described as leader, 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.
On 31 October 2019, Renew announced 51 candidates in England, Scotland and Wales in advance of the general election scheduled for 12 December. 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.
On 7 July 2020, Renew announced the results of its leadership election, with James Clarke elected as Leader and Carla Burns as Deputy Leader.
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. In the first four months of 2018, Breen donated another £118,916. A further £23,000 was donated by Roderick Thackray. Thackray has been a partner in Breen's business, Sutney LLP, since 2014.
Since February 2018, Renew has received over a thousand small donations from supporters. In March, the party crowdfunded £17,170 for its "Listen to Britain" tour and in summer 2018 launched its party membership scheme and has been raising funds through this channel.
According to the party's website, its core aim is to renew UK politics, address inequality and division in the country and reform the system. It advocates extensive local devolution and the introduction of proportional representation. The party also aims to tackle homelessness via a crown corporation tasked with developing and delivering affordable housing and pledges to expand the national healthcare budget while improving efficiency and accountability in the NHS. The party's economic policy focuses on fostering innovation and investment-driven growth within a regulated free-market system. The party also promotes environmental sustainability via the widespread use of renewables and developing investment in green technology.
The party has been compared to Emmanuel Macron's En Marche! party in France and has been supported by the French MP Amélie de Montchalin, who is also the whip of the majority in the French National Assembly. The party has campaigned throughout the UK since its launch and attended the People's Vote marches of October 2018 and March 2019, alongside other pro-European individuals and groups.
Following the 2019 general election, Renew announced its intention to refocus on reform, participation and openness.
The party's then leader, Annabel Mullin, stood as a candidate for London in the 2019 European election 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. The total number of national votes cast for the combined slate was 571,846.
On 2 May, the party returned John Bates as a local councillor for Morecambe, Torrisholme Ward.
For the 2019 Peterborough by-election, Renew worked with Liberal Democrats, the Green Party and Change UK to support a "unity remain candidate", but the plan broke down at the last minute. In the event, Renew's candidate, Peter Ward, finished 13th out of 15 candidates. 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".
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. Renew stood four candidates in Edinburgh, Kent, Merseyside and North London.
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. For the Scottish Parliament elections, Renew backed a multiple-choice referendum on the issue of Scottish independence like its Volt Scotland counterparts. Renew candidates received 493 votes or 0.02% of the vote for their regional lists and failed to return any MSPs.
|Date of election||Constituency||Candidate||Votes||%|
|4 April 2019||Newport West||June Davies||879||3.7|
|6 June 2019||Peterborough||Peter Ward||45||0.1|
|Bromley and Chislehurst||Jyoti Dialani||119||0.3|
|Edinburgh North and Leith||Heather Astbury||138||0.2|
|Hackney North and Stoke Newington||Haseeb Ur-Rehman||151||0.3|
|Sefton Central||Carla Burns||137||0.3|
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... 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 ...
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