Renew Party

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Renew Party
LeaderJulie Girling[1]
Deputy leadersJames Torrance
James Clarke
HeadquartersFlat 2
Pritchard Court
Granfield Street
London
SW11 3JQ[2]
IdeologyPro-Europeanism
Political positionCentre[3]
Colours     Blue      Pink
Website
renewparty.org.uk

The Renew Party[4] is a centrist political party in the United Kingdom.[3][5] It was set up 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 or right ideology.[6] It welcomes candidates and members from non-political backgrounds.[7]

One of the party's main positions is to advocate that the UK remains part of the European Union, although it also emphasises investment in education, sustainable development and environmental protection as key values.[6] While the party originally had three leaders (Annabel Mullin, James Torrance and James Clarke),[8] latterly Mullin had been described as leader,[9] with the party's website describing Torrance and Clarke as deputy leaders. Mullin stepped down as leader on 7 June and was replaced by the independent MEP for the Southwest of England and Gibraltar, Julie Girling.[10]

Renew was registered with the Electoral Commission on 30 October 2017. The party officials were named as Torrance (leader), Clarke (nominating officer) and David Britten (treasurer).[11]

On 15 April 2019, the party announced that it would wind up its 2019 European election campaign in order to support Change UK.[12]

History[edit]

Renew was founded by Sandra Khadhouri, a former UN worker,[13][14] Chris Coghlan, a former Foreign and Commonwealth Office anti-terror officer[15] James Clarke, a tech business development consultant;[16] and James Torrance,[17] an accountant and former Conservative.[18] 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, after which the party received over 200 applications for potential candidates. The party was officially launched on 19 February 2018 at a press conference in London.[19] 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.[20][19]

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.[13] He subsequently lost his seat in the May 2018 local election. John Ferrett, a former Labour councillor in Portsmouth, joined Renew in 2018,[21] but in 2019 was listed as a non-aligned independent.[22]

In September 2018, Renew formed an electoral alliance with Advance Together, with Advance Together's Annabel Mullin joining the leadership team.[23] Shortly afterward, Advance merged into the Renew Party.[24]

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.[25]

Finance[edit]

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.[26] In the first four months of 2018, Breen donated another £118,916. A further £23,000 was donated by Roderick Thackray.[27] Thackray has been a partner in Breen's business, Sutney LLP,[28] since 2014.[29]

Since February 2018, Renew has received over a thousand[citation needed] small donations from supporters. In March, the party crowdfunded £17,170 for its "Listen to Britain" tour[30] and in summer 2018 launched its party membership scheme[31] and has been raising funds through this channel.

Ideology[edit]

Torrance says that Renew is a moderate, centrist party[32] which Clarke identifies as "centre-right on the economy and centre-left socially".[33]

According to the party's website, its core aim is to renew UK politics, address inequality and division in the country and stop Brexit. 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[34] and pledges to expand the national healthcare budget while improving efficiency and accountability in the NHS.[35] The party's economic policy focuses on fostering innovation and investment-driven growth within a regulated free-market system.[36] The party also promotes environmental sustainability via the widespread use of renewables and developing investment in green technology.[37]

The party has been compared to Emmanuel Macron's En Marche! party in France[38] 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[8][39] and attended the People's Vote marches of October 2018 and March 2019, alongside other pro-European individuals and groups.[40]

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.[41]

June Davies was the Renew candidate in the 2019 Newport West by-election, finishing in seventh place with 879 votes (3.7%).[42]

The party's then leader, Annabel Mullin, stood as a candidate for London in the 2019 European election[43] 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.[44] 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.[45] Eric Cooper was also elected as a local councillor for the Renew party in the Clapham, Bedfordshire ward.[46]

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.[47] In the event, Renew's candidate, Peter Ward, finished 13th out of 15 candidates.[48] 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".[49]

References[edit]

  1. ^ @RenewParty (7 June 2019). "We are delighted that @juliegirling will be stepping in as interim leader" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  2. ^ "Registration summary: Renew". The Electoral Commission. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  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. ^ https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/mediaboosterdev/pages/16/attachments/original/1530111480/Privacy-Policy-2018.pdf?1530111480
  5. ^ MacAskill, Andrew; Faulconbridge, Guy (19 February 2018). "New British party inspired by Macron seeks to overturn Brexit". Reuters. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  6. ^ a b "Our Vision" (PDF). Renewparty.org. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  7. ^ "Our Vision" (PDF). Renewparty.org. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
    - "Interview: Renew - UK's New Centrist Anti-Brexit Party". Youtube.com. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  8. ^ a b 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.
  9. ^ "New anti-Brexit party 'Renew' voices support for Gibraltar". GBC. Gibraltar Broadcasting Corporation. 3 December 2018. Retrieved 31 January 2019.
  10. ^ "It is with no small degree of sadness to announce that @AnnabelMullin will be stepping down as leader. Annabel has been a wonderful leader and will be spending some much-needed time with her family. We are delighted that @juliegirling will be stepping in as interim leader.pic.twitter.com/e5r61TvUJp". The Renew Party. 7 June 2019.
    - "Julie Girling MEP".
  11. ^ Registration summary, Electoral Commission, Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  12. ^ Smith, Mikey (16 April 2019). "'Misleading' logo The Independent Group are banned from using in Euro elections". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
    - "Renew Party moves to support The Independent Group". Renew Party press statement. 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.
  13. ^ a b Gavin, Harvey (9 March 2018). "We were lied to! New 'Renew' party hopes to overturn Brexit". Daily Express. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ Robert, Wright. "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
  16. ^ Quigley, Rosie (19 May 2017). "Insurtech guru to stand as MP to protect start-ups". Insurance Post. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
  17. ^ Torrance, James. "This is why we've set up Renew". The Independent. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  18. ^ "A new political party recruiting in Wales is aiming to stop Brexit", Wales Online 27 February 2018. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  19. ^ a b "Our Story". Renewparty.org. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  20. ^ Annosh, Chakelian. ""We're out, accept it!": on the road with Renew – the new political party trying to reverse Brexit". New Statesman. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  21. ^ 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.
  22. ^ Portsmouth City Council: Councillor John Ferrett
  23. ^ "New Alliance of the Renew Party and Advance Together". Renew Party. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
  24. ^ "Meet the Team". Renew Party.
  25. ^ "'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.
  26. ^ Renew Statement of Accounts 2017, published by The Electoral Commission on 31 July 2018. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  27. ^ Register of donations, Electoral Commission. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  28. ^ Sutney LLP, Companies House. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  29. ^ Appointment of a member of a Limited Liability Partnership, Companies House 17 April 2014. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  30. ^ "The Renew 'Listen to Britain' Tour". Crowdfunder UK. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  31. ^ "Join us as a member". Renew Party. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  32. ^ James, Torrance. "This is why we've set up Renew – the new political party that will stop Brexit". Independent.com. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  33. ^ Anoosh, Chakelian. ""We're out, accept it!": on the road with Renew – the new political party trying to reverse Brexit". New Statesman. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  34. ^ "Compassion". RenewParty.org. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  35. ^ "Policy Blueprint" (PDF). RenewParty.org. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  36. ^ "Safety and Security". RenewParty.org. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
    - "Policy Blueprint" (PDF). Our Vision. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  37. ^ "Investment". Renewparty.org. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  38. ^ Staff writer (20 February 2018). "Inspired by Macron, new anti-Brexit party launches in Britain". Euractiv. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  39. ^ BBC Interviews (Television). Renew Britain via YouTube. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
  40. ^ Staff writer (21 October 2018). "The People's Vote March for the Future". Renew Party. Renew Britain. Retrieved 21 October 2018.
  41. ^ "Shaftesbury Ward results". Wandsworth LBC. Wandsworth London Borough Council. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  42. ^ "Newport West by-election: Labour holds on to seat". BBC News. 5 April 2019. Retrieved 5 April 2019.
  43. ^ EUROPEAN PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION -LONDON: Thursday 23 May 2019: List of Parties and Individual Candidates Nominated and Notice of Poll. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  44. ^ Williams, Jay (1 May 2019). "Six Renew Party members to stand for Change UK in European Elections". HITC. Retrieved 9 July 2019.
  45. ^ "Parish and town council results 2019". Lancaster City Council.
  46. ^ https://bbcdevwebfiles.blob.core.windows.net/webfiles/Elections/Elections%20Results%202019/Clapham-Council-Election-Results-2019.pdf
  47. ^ Perring, Rebecca (10 May 2019). "Remainers ABANDON Peterborough by-election blaming LABOUR for anti-Brexit campaign flop". Express.co.uk. Retrieved 28 June 2019.
  48. ^ Fiona Leishman, "Peterborough by-election 2019 result: City elects Labour candidate Lisa Forbes", Cambridgeshire Live, 7 June 2019
  49. ^ Media Mole (28 June 2019). "Great news for Remain unity: Renew is standing aside in the Brecon by-election". New Statesman. Retrieved 8 July 2019.