The Northern Agenda

Reform UK: raging against the machine, or the UK's new third party?

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Episode notes

This week the Northern Agenda switches focus away from the two main political parties to one that seems to be gathering momentum and hopes to do some real damage to the Conservatives at the next General Election.

Reform UK, founded by Nigel Farage as the Brexit Party back in 2018 and renamed in 2020 to campaign against lockdown measures during the Covid pandemic, came third in two Parliamentary by-elections last week and has promised to field a candidate in every single constituency at the next General Election.

We know Reform is anti-lockdown, pro-Brexit, in favour of slashing taxes and leans into a number of divisive culture war issues. But does it have any policies to improve the lives of people in the North of England?

This weekend it's holding a big spring conference in Doncaster and ahead of the event Rob Parsons talks to one of the main speakers, the Talk TV host Alex Phillips who is now one of the party's most high profile members.

Rob asks her about the involvement of Nigel Farage in the party, how Reform plans to hurt the Tories at the ballot box and why the party would support an end to the ban on fracking, the highly controversial technique for extracting shale gas in places like North Yorkshire and Lancashire that caused huge protest before being ruled out by the Conservative government in 2019.

Plus, Yorkshire Conservative councillor Tom Jones explains why Reform may not have the impact they're hoping for - and what his party can do to stop them taking votes off them at the next election.


The Northern Agenda is a Laudable production for Reach. It is presented by Rob Parsons, and produced by Daniel J. McLaughlin.

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