'Renew' hoping to copy success of En Marche! in the UK

A new centrist and anti-Brexit party is launching a tour of British towns and universities hoping to replicate in the UK the success of La République En Marche in France.

Like LREM, Renew aims specifically to recruit candidates from outside the world of politics, and from as broad a spectrum of backgrounds as possible.

Also like president Emmanuel Macron’s party, it aims to position itself as pro-European and against Brexit, and it says it has a ‘bold, modern economic plan’ combined with a ‘caring social policy’.

According to its website “Everyone says an En Marche! could not succeed in the UK, but nobody can answer what would happen if inspiring people from outside politics, from all backgrounds stood for parliament for a new party open to markets, Europe and the world.”

Renew hopes to field MP candidates in every constituency by the next general election; in the meantime its first test will be in council elections in May. It already has some 220 candidates and is inviting more people to put themselves forward – however some commentators have said its weakness is that it lacks a leader capable of making the kind of impact that Mr Macron had. 

LREM members have advised the new party and were among those attending an official launch and training day in London called Renew Britain at the weekend.

Renew spokeswoman Sandra Khadhouri said on Twitter: “We need to reverse Brexit, so that we can focus on what really matters in the UK”.

The party states that the Brexit referendum has left the UK divided and it supports a new poll. Its website says: “Many people feel they were lied to, young people overwhelmingly voted to remain and no one was given a clear idea of what post-Brexit Britain would look like. Theresa May’s mandate for her vision of Brexit was shattered by her weak election result.”

Its other policies include greater spending on the NHS, raising the minimum wage and, in the longer term, universal basic income “so that every person has financial security to follow their dreams”.

It says it believes Britain has the potential to become a “renovation superpower that overcomes the great challenges of the 21st century”.

  • See The Connexion newspaper March edition for an interview with one of the leaders of Renew, James Torrance. You can subscribe here before February 12 to receive the issue at your home in the week starting February 19.

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