Reform UK will not join forces with Tories

Reform have apparently ruled out a pact with the Tories after Jacob Rees Mogg said that might be a good idea. Reform will not join forces with Tories. Who better to answer that, than a man who might just have had our last caller say that Richard Tice is the problem, if Ben Habib was the boss man you would win more seats. Ben Habib, good afternoon how are you? Very well indeed Jeremy, good to be back on Talk in its traditional format, with you swinging the bat.

Absolutely my friend, let’s I threw it out there to people because I want to throw some questions from them to you, but let’s just talk about where this came from. Tory sources, it started with Jacob Rees Mogg saying and I quote Richie Sunak should seek an election deal with Reform, Tory sources said that is never going to happen, we don’t want to be in a party with figures like Nigel Farage and Richard Tice, that’s never going to happen.

Let me turn it on its head, what’s Ben Habib and the Reform party’s view of that? Well, it’s a mistake to think that Reform UK is a weather vane for the Tories or some kind of conscience for theories, a pressure group. We’re not, we’re a separate political party, yes, we exist because the Conservative party has so fundamentally failed in governing the country properly in my view.

The country faces existential threat at multiple levels economically, socially, culturally, democratically, politically, constitutionally. We’ve been left in a really big pickle as a result of 14 years of Conservative government and I wouldn’t be on this channel with you Jeremy and I wouldn’t have stood for the European Parliament back in 2019 if the Conservatives had actually delivered what they had promised, which the people asked them to deliver, which was Brexit and if they had delivered Brexit, if they’d really cut the apron strings from the EU we would now be in a much better place. We would be governing our economy independently, we wouldn’t have this ridiculous situation in Northern Ireland, we’d be able to ditch Net Zero, we’d be able to deregulate, we’d be able to reduce taxes on the working and middle classes and private Enterprise but we can’t do any of that because the Conservative party is not of that mind.

Reform Policy is Sound

It tied us into ongoing obligations to the EU, other supranational institutions and indeed lots of domestic quangos which had removed you know the democratic accountability of these institutions from the people and that badly is pretty, much a continuation of what Blair started.

So, the reason I’m here, the reason Reform UK exists is to Take Back Control into the people’s hands, start making policies with British national interest in mind, with British people’s interests in mind, cut those apron strings with the EU, slash immigration, promote the private sector, get the working class and middle classes on their front foot again, get the country working again, it’s a very simple agenda but the Conservative party doesn’t believe in it.

It isn’t doing it, there are multiple things that Rishi could and should do and he wouldn’t need an arrangement with Reform UK because people would vote for him in droves if he did it, but he won’t do it Jeremy.

Listen I couldn’t agree more with you, with loads of people asking questions because of course, I want to just read this one to you which is really interesting it people are Basically, I would like to ask Ben Habib in the event of a hung Parliament would the Reform Party, if it won seats be prepared to prop up the Tories, yes or no? That’s Peter Savage, so I think a hung Parliament is a very interesting proposition and his question I think assumes that we will have a critical number of seats which would allow a Conservative government to go ahead and in many respects that would be a fantastic first outcome for Reform UK because we would then be able to set the agenda, a genuinely small C conservative agenda, which by the way lots of Labour supporters believe in as well.

Rishi Sunak & the Tories are out of touch

The agenda that I just outlined well that was proven in 2019 wasn’t it unequivocally absolutely Jeremy and that’s what Rishi Sunak is missing, he’s not in touch with the people is he?

The wrong man to lead the Conservative party, I mean I was quite outspoken to be perfectly honest and I said that you know for me he was there during all the troubles of Boris Johnson.

Boris Johnson was this this amazing figure yes there were mistakes and problems and a lot of things that didn’t work out but it was his majority to me. Sunak wanted the job Ben so desperately he walked up Downing Street. I said this every day he said things were going to be different, then he gave Gavin Williamson a job, he brings Suella Braverman in with Rwanda because he knew he needed the right of the party then sacked her, to me and people don’t like this but I don’t think he is, I don’t think he’s been up to the job.

A lot of people will say he’s had a hard time you know; he’s had difficult things happen, Prime Ministers who want the job that happens too if Rishi Sunak wasn’t the British prime minister or the leader of the Tory party do you think that Reform would still exist in the way it does today?

I think we would exist because Rishi Sunak is symptomatic of a bigger problem the Conservative party faces which is the one nation group of Tories who’ve really got not just the Parliamentary Party by the Scruff of the neck, they’ve got CCHQ you know their executive of the Conservative party by the scruff of the neck.

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One Nation Tories have destroyed their party

All the candidates they choose are basically you know globalist multilateral players who believe in Net Zero, who don’t believe in borders, who welcome immigrants in the country put their interests ahead and to the detriment, if necessary, of British people, promote DEI all these things that are small C conservative would want to get rid of.

It’s the one nation group of Conservative party MPs and the grip that they have with CCHQ that I think makes the Conservative party, puts the Conservative party beyond redemption, where do you believe, I mean that last caller, we’ve got so much to talk about Ben, great to have you on, the last caller said the problem for Reform is Richard Tice, he was described by my last caller as arrogant and he’s the reason that Reform will win no seats. Do you believe Richard Tice is the man to lead your party?

Look Richard is building very successfully a broad and deep movement. Reform has come from polling 1% three years ago to now being three or 4% behind the Conservative party and we may overtake them. There’s going to be lots of criticism of all of us as we go through this journey, our heads and Richard’s head in particular is firmly above the parapet and already I know that we are being attacked by the Conservative party much more relentlessly than we were, we’re being courted and we’re being attacked, they want to neutralise us one way or the other and I can feel their breath on the back of my neck you know, they’ve got the power of patronage which is huge and they will use it against us and they will do whatever they can to discredit us but we’ve got to stand firm and Richard will stand firm.

We want to give the people a genuine political choice and I agree completely the Labour party will be a disaster but so will the Conservative party. Well, let me read some more the response to this, David says Reform should actually do a deal with the Conservative party, Richard Tice should ask for a certain number of seats where the Conservatives don’t stand and Reform will not stand in the rest.

A Vote for Reform UK is a Vote for Reform UK

Sorry, that was from Derek, this is interesting from Adrien, Ben, so vote for Reform this is what everybody says, so a vote for Reform is a vote for Keir Starmer according to the Tories.

That’s the latest mudslinging but then what is a vote says Adrien for the Tories, is at best a vote for the same inept and shambolic government we’ve endured for four and a half years. In truth the vote for the Tories is a vote for the two-party system that has given voters like me no bloody choice for the last however many years for me.

He says a vote for Reform is a vote for reform of the voting system and we can finally lay to rest that two-party system. Peter just quickly says the 2029 election is the important one Jezza. Right, Labour will get in this time no matter what, a Labour term will wake up the brainwashed young to what Labour really is about Reform UK will then, over the old boys network closed shop which is that first pass the post voting system and change this country for good.

Lots of support of Reform UK, what I want to ask you is what’s the reality Ben you’re right you’re polling now at four or 5% less than the Tories, is an extraordinary result but the argument is because of the two-party voting system you will be 10 12,000 votes in each, you won’t win any seats, that’s not a great look. Do you think you can win seats?

What I would like to say to that is that once you get above, once you start polling above 20%, you’re into winning seat territory and we’ve come from 5% in October 2023 in the polls to now 15 16% we got 17% in the Blackpool South by-election and the Conservative support is dropping in the country as we rise, they’re dropping and if we can get above 20% we’ll be in decent territory.

Vote for Change, Get Change

But what I do say is if you keep voting for the Conservative party or the Labour party, you’re going to keep getting the same rubbish that is delivered this country into the peril which it now faces.

If you want change you’ve got to vote for it and yes it’s one hell of a struggle yes, we have an uphill battle on our hands it may feel like Dunkirk, you may feel like you’ve just got to surrender and give Rishi Sunak another go because Starmer is so blooming awful, but don’t do it, vote for change, give change a chance because this country is as I say on a precipice and if we want to save it we have to head in that direction, what Reform stand for.

Hold on a second, Jane from the from Milton Keynes, this is interesting, says I’ve heard all about that, I’ve heard about the two-party system, what I want is some meat on the bone can you please ask Ben what the Reform Party would do? Something that really alienates her as a voter regarding the constant raising of the pension age she says, I worked all my life and I’m being shattered frankly by everchanging rules. What would Reform do about that Ben put you on the spot yeah?

The reason we’ve got an increase in the working age is twofold, one we’ve got a broken government finances and we’ve got into a mindset of wealth redistribution rather than wealth creation.

Reform UK would cut taxes on private enterprise, cut regulation, ditch Net Zero, reduce inflation, get the labour market back on its front foot again and through that we would cut our benefits bills and we would have more revenue coming into the exchequer.

We would be a richer country if Reform UK’s party agenda was adopted, that would obviate the need to require people to work for longer and then the other reason we’re having to ask people to work for longer is because we’ve got six million people as a result of Conservative party policy now not fully working.

Welfare Costs out of Control

Of the Six Million who were on Universal Credit you know two and a half million, Ben I’m being shouted I’m being shouted out by slow boy Ryan take a breath loads more people want to throw questions at you and this is what a couple of people have said. Please tell Ben I am 60 years of age and most of my friends are in their 40s to 60s and we absolutely love what Reform is about but we refuse to vote for them because Richard Tice is out of touch, that’s from Kevin in London.

I’m just reading what is said to me is Richard Tice out of touch Ben Habib? Very quickly, well he can’t be out of touch because he’s the one who’s championed and created this movement that is gaining so much ground and which I’m supporting, look at our policies don’t get distracted by optics, look at what we stand for, look at what we’re proposing, look at the 180 degrees change in direction that we’re proposing.

We are going to, there’s nothing the Labour party and Conservative parties promising or would do that is remotely close to what we would do. We will absolutely promote the United Kingdom and its people, unashamedly cut the ties with these supranational institutions, the so-called international law that keeps prohibiting us from doing what we want to do, get rid of all the quangos that have diluted down our democracy, promote working- and middle-class people.

I’m jumping in, I want to ask you, we’re seeing photographs of your leader with what’s the guy called, Lee Anderson so loads of quick questions. This from Dave yeah, do you believe there will be any more defections from the Tory party to your ranks, there were rumours today, Ben Habib?

Future Tory Defections?

I think that the Conservative party MPs must be looking around them and fearing for their future and their party future, what I would say to them is if they genuinely believe in our agenda, if they genuinely want to save this country, they’ve got to stop putting the Conservative party first and they should chat and a few are chatting at the moment, but you know it’s, I’m not in the business of recruiting Conservative party MPs, if they wish to join us, they need to wish to do it because they believe in what we will deliver. Well, it’s interesting Peter says well said Ben remember the old adage if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got, which is quite correct.

Absolutely, the next question is from Simon, he says Are you standing Ben Habib? Absolutely, Wellingborough. I’ve already stood in Wellingborough in the by-election that was a staging post we got. Peter bone that was Peter bone? It was Helen Harrison his partner that I went up against in a metaphorical competitive sense and I you know, I came just not bad expression but I was just, I was just short of her, just short of her.

Now the other two contentious questions, loads of people asking this, there’s one from Carl, should the Conservatives stand down in certain constituencies? Well, we’ve discussed already it’s not going to happen. Do you hope and pray within your organization that Nigel Farage comes front and centre because of course he is this figure which garners such interest, such popularity publicly. Do you believe that Farage will be front and centre or not?

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Nigel Farage

What I would say about Nigel is what I’ve just said about other people who wish to join us. If Nigel wants to come into the front line of course he’d be welcome, he’s hugely loved across the country he’s a fantastic campaigner, he believes firmly in the stuff that I believe in, that Richard believes in and he’d be a great asset but Nigel’s got to want to do it and the other thing I’d say is that you know political success doesn’t come from one individual and nor should it. No, it needs to come from a broad and deep movement and that is what Richard and I really want to create. Would that broad movement, could that broad movement ever incorporate Boris Johnson Ben Habib?

Boris in my view, I don’t know Boris, I’ve never met him. I’ve only heard what he says and what he does and I don’t think Boris is particularly ideological. I think Boris is a great political pragmatist a fantastic communicator, he can talk to anyone across any part of the social spectrum you know strata, but Boris had that 80 seat majority, he didn’t get Brexit done, he left Northern Ireland in an invidious position and he delivered the country whether or not you wish to blame Rishi and his cohort of cabinet ministers who stabbed him in the back for the mess we’re in or him? You know, he was the boss that delivered us into this position and so you know, I love Boris, I’m sure he’d be great to have a drink with but should he be running the country?

I you know I don’t think so, can I just say it’s an absolute privilege to have you on Ben, we try and give all sides, it was good to get the people their questions to you, many people are saying that you should lead Reform UK, that will be interesting he’s standing in Wellingborough where my bank is by the way, so I hope you win, listen really good to have you on Ben Habib Deputy leader Reform UK on talk Drive.