Havering and Redbridge GLA candidate visits Romford Market
- Credit: Reform UK
The leader of Reform UK and a London Assembly candidate for Havering and Redbridge visited Romford Market to speak to traders ahead of the upcoming election.
Richard Tice was passed the baton of leadership of Reform UK - formerly the Brexit Party - by Nigel Farage with just weeks to go until May 6's elections.
A multi-millionaire businessman who worked in property for over 30 years, he was one of the founders of Leave Means Leave, which campaigned for the UK to exit the European Union in 2016.
This weekend, he and his team went to Romford Market to speak to traders about their concerns and hopes for a future London.
When out campaigning, he claimed people were not interested or aware of the local elections, but those who were took a greater interest in the smaller parties and have an increasing "appetite for different views".
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The top of his list for the immediate future was ending pandemic restrictions and precautions immediately.
This includes face masks, vaccine passports - as "vaccines should be a choice," he claims - and an end to what he describes as "unnecessary" mass testing.
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He said: "It suits the government to have everyone terrified because it makes people supine in trusting the government, and that way you have high poll ratings."
Beyond lockdown scepticism, Reform UK says it is focused on national economic recovery and reform of the tax system, calling for freezing taxes for those on lower incomes.
Mr Tice said: "Cut taxes for lowest paid by lifting threshold from £12,000 to £20,000 [earnt per year], they will spend that money more wisely and get better value for productivity than civil servants spending that money on their behalf.
"You get faster growth in the economy and you'll get higher tax revenues."
Back in London, he's endorsing Laurence Fox of the Reclaim Party for mayor. Mr Fox also recently visited Romford Market.
Asked about Mr Fox's plan to build £200,000 new houses in London, he said: "There's plenty of brownfield land across the whole of London, including on land owned by Network Rail and Transport for London - they're the two biggest landowners in London, they would be funded by the housebuilders and you need a sensible percentage of affordable homes.
"The problem with the current mayor's housing policy is that his housing numbers are woefully low because he's had too-high percentage of affordable homes."
Mr Tice pledges to solve the cladding crisis with a “polluter pays” principle, which would see housebuilders still in business pay the costs associated with remedying the dangerous and inadequate cladding and other fire safety issues.
He also wants to scrap the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) extension.
He said: "It will harm businesses and the lowest paid. Low-traffic neighbourhood schemes opposed by residents must be stopped as they cause extra pollution and huge inconvenience."