The National:

IF you’re launching a manifesto for the General Election, you should check a couple of details first. Who’s the party leader? Is this manifesto the finished version or just a draft?

Simple questions, but not ones anyone at Reform UK apparently thought to ask before Nigel Farage launched their party’s pledge to voters on Monday.

Anyone searching the Reform website for the manifesto would instead find a “working draft” with an intro from party “leader” Richard Tice. How thing’s change.

Of course, Tice was never really the leader of Reform – a limited company registered as controlled by Farage – and later in the day someone noticed and put the proper version of the manifesto live on the party’s website.

So, let's start with what's not in it: Scotland. Nope, not a single mention of anything "Scottish". They didn't even take a pot-shot at the SNP.

As for what's actually in it, The Jouker has had a look so you don’t have to.


Immigration is a key area on which Farage is planning to fight this election, so you might expect Reform to have some visionary new plan to tackle the record levels the UK is seeing.

You might expect that, and you would be disappointed.

The manifesto includes a pledge to “stop the boats” – which is exactly what Rishi Sunak has been pledging to do for more than a year now – with a cunning four-point plan.

The fact that the first point in the plan is “leave the European Convention on Human Rights” suggests how coherent the rest of it is.

“Zero illegal immigrants to be resettled in the UK. New Department of Immigration. Pick up illegal migrants out of boats and take them back to France.”

That’s it. There’s no detail on how any of that would work or be done. But then, who needs details?


Nigel Farage launched Reform's manifesto on Monday

Showing how light on detail they are, Reform are critiquing the UK’s tax policy based on the number of pages it’s apparently written on (they claim 21,000 – we have no information on how they counted).

The rest is basically tax cuts for everyone.

The party wants to lift the minimum profit threshold to £100,000 and reduce the main corporation tax rate from 25% to 15% in three years, lift the point at which people begin to pay income tax to £20,000, abolish business rates for small and medium businesses, cut fuel duty by 20p per litre, scrap VAT on energy bills, abolish inheritance tax under £2 million, and cut stamp duty to 0% on sales below £750,000.


Things get even more bonkers in the education section, where Reform propose banning teenagers from “gender questioning”. Good luck with that.

They also want to force schools to “inform parents of under 16s about their children’s life decisions” – which is so broad that it would never become serious law.

The party also proposes a “patriotic curriculum”, which would include pairing the teaching of Britain’s history of slavery or European imperialism, with a non-European occurrence to “ensure balance”.

Elsewhere, Reform are going against the grain and saying they want private schools to get MORE tax breaks, arguing that more kids in independent education would “significantly ease pressure on state schools”.

What else is in there?

More than it’s worth writing about. Or reading.

Reform vowed to  “clamp down on all crime” with drug dealing receiving life imprisonment, scrap net-zero targets to save £30 billion a year, give private healthcare tax breaks, bring in a public inquiry into vaccine harms (sigh), scrap HS2, make St George’s Day a public holiday, and scrap the BBC TV licence.

Oh, and it wants to scrap the House of Lords and make Westminster elections proportionally representative.

What are people saying?

So, what have the reactions been?

Well, often journalists will get press releases rounding up some experts and business-people’s view of key political events. These will be carefully considered and worded so as not to appear nakedly political.

That went out the window in response to Reform’s manifesto.

Reform Party leader Nigel Farage has been light on detail and heavy on rhetoric

One quote that dropped into our inbox, from Amit Patel, an adviser at Trinity Finance, said: "When a party has no chance whatsoever to get elected into office, they can offer everything under the sun. A vote for Reform is a vote for failure and bigotry."

Another, from managing director of Yellow Brick Mortgages Stephen Perkins, welcomed the raft of tax cuts … but crucially added: “What remains unclear is how the country can function if all taxes are to be cut.”

And Rohit Kohli, the director at The Mortgage Stop, said: "When you are not likely to get anywhere near power it's really easy to make headline-grabbing, unrealistic and unfunded promises without any clear plan of how they are to be delivered.”

That about sums the Reform manifesto up.