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Richard Tice, leader of Reform UK, visits new Rutland and Stamford constituency ahead of general election





A right-wing candidate hoping to win votes at this year’s general election attracted a paying audience in Rutland.

Richard Tice, leader of Reform UK, was at Rutland County Museum in Oakham on Tuesday (May 21) to launch the election campaign of Christopher Clowes.

Mr Clowes had been chosen as Reform UK candidate for Rutland and Stamford following the removal of Ginny H Ball in March for a comment suggesting a British-born Asian BBC radio presenter should “emigrate to a black-only country”.

The main auditorium at the museum, which holds 180 people, was not quite full. Those attending the meeting were charged £5 each, which included refreshments. The advertised ticket price had been reduced in the days before the meeting.

Mr Tice said: “I went to school in Uppingham, and my children also went to school in Uppingham, so it feels very much like a home from home to me.”

He said Reform UK candidates, including Mr Clowes, need to be out in the Rutland and Stamford area knocking on doors and telling people “there is hope, that Britain is a great nation”.

He said that the message of the evening was that reform is needed at every level of the economy, healthcare, immigration, law and order, defence, culture and education.

“People here in Rutland, like people up and down the country feel totally let down by the Conservatives,” he said, adding that if Labour were elected there would be “Starmer-geddon for this nation”.

Christopher Clowes said he expected to change the area’s Conservatives to Reform UK voters because “Rutland is a county used to change”.

Members of the audience at Rutland County Museum
Members of the audience at Rutland County Museum

He cited the building of Rutland Water 50 years ago as an example of this, and Rutland independence which happened 27 years ago.

He said: “So, when it comes to changing the minds of the voters of Rutland, a lot of people here, who I am listening to, are fed up with their services being cut, the buses not reaching their villages, and the community facilities being closed.

“There is a long history in this county of the Conservative-led, and now Liberal-led council, closing facilities like the leisure centre, complaining they don’t have the funds to run them anymore. That’s exactly the sort of thing that angers voters.

From left, Reform UK party candidate for Rutland and Stamford Christopher Clowes, Reform UK leader Richard Tice, and the party's prospective candidate for Northampton North, Anthony Antoniou
From left, Reform UK party candidate for Rutland and Stamford Christopher Clowes, Reform UK leader Richard Tice, and the party's prospective candidate for Northampton North, Anthony Antoniou

“This is a rural area, a certain way of life. People move here for a rural community lifestyle, and my message to those voters is that I am all about protecting that, and that they can change their vote to ensure that protection.”



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