Think tank challenges Farage’s new party name

Nigel Farage's plan to rebrand the Brexit Party as the anti-lockdown Reform UK has hit a snag.

The Reform think tank has written to the Electoral Commission to complain about the proposed name change, arguing it could lead to "voter confusion".

The think tank, which argues for public service reform, has also written to Mr Farage asking him to reconsider.

The Brexit Party has applied to the Electoral Commission to formally change its name, with Mr Farage arguing that as well as keeping an eye on Boris Johnson's negotiations with the EU "further reform in many other areas" is needed.

Party chairman Richard Tice has said a new coronavirus strategy is needed "so that we learn to live with it, not hide in fear of it".

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Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh (right) host a Buckingham Palace reception for backbench MPs, including Independent Party leader and MEP Nigel Farage (left).
Representative of the Independence and Democracy Group for UKIP, Nigel Farage, speaks on the first day of their Annual Conference at Methodist Central Hall, Storey's Gate, Friday 7 October 2005. Watch for PA Story POLITICS UKIP. PRESS ASSOCIATION PHOTO. Photo credit should read: Fiona Hanson/PA
Nigel Farage MEP, the new leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) in the Red Lion Square, London.
The light aircraft that crashed at Hinton-in-the-Hedges airfield, near Brackley, injuring Ukip candidate Nigel Farage and the plane's pilot. (Photo by Rui Vieira/PA Images via Getty Images)
ALTERNATE CROP UK Independence Party former leader Nigel Farage in Downe, Kent, after returning home from hospital following his escape from a light aircraft crash last Thursday. (Photo by Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images)
UKIP leader Nigel Farage speaks to supporters in Eastleigh, Hampshire ahead of a by-election caused by former Cabinet minister Chris Huhne's resignation after he admitted perverting the course of justice over a speeding offence. (Photo by Chris Ison/PA Images via Getty Images)
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UKIP leader Nigel Farage arrives in Westminster after a successful night in the local council elections last night. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau/PA Images via Getty Images)
UKIP leader Nigel Farage arrives in Westminster after a successful night in the local council elections last night. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau/PA Images via Getty Images)
UKIP leader Nigel Farage (centre) is escorted by police officers as he leaves the Cannons Gait pub as protestors heckle him during his visit to Edinburgh as part of a plan to build on electoral gains in England and start winning in Scotland.
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Ukip leader Nigel Farage looking at the floodwater in Burrowbridge, Somerset.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg (right) and Ukip leader Nigel Farage, hosted by LBC's Nick Ferrari, take part in a debate over Britain's future in the European Union, held at 8 Northumberland Avenue, London.
UKIP leader Nigel Farage is hit by an egg as he gets out of his car in Nottingham city centre.
UKIP Leader Nigel Farage waves as he leaves his home in Cudham, Kent, as his party made gains across the country following yesterdays voting in local council elections.
Ukip party leader Nigel Farage celebrates with two supporters during a visit to Basildon, Essex, as his party make gains across the country following yesterdays voting in local elections.
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Ukip leader Nigel Farage as he lends his support to John Bickley (not in picture), his party's candidate for the upcoming Heywood and Middleton by-election, while on the campaign trail at the Heywood Tank Museum.
Ukip leader Nigel Farage between television interviews outside Rochester Castle in Kent, after Mark Reckless won the Rochester and Strood by-election last night caused by his defection from the Conservative Party.
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(Front - back) Labour Party leader Ed Miliband, Plaid Cymru Party leader Leanne Wood, Green Party leader Natalie Bennett, Scottish National Party leader Nicola Sturgeon and Ukip leader Nigel Farage during the BBC Challengers' Election Debate 2015 at Central Hall Westminster, London.
Ukip leader Nigel Farage has a cup of tea at the Ship Shape Cafe during a walk about in Ramsgate, Kent, on the final day of his campaign for the Thanet South seat at tomorrow's General Election.
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Ukip leader Nigel Farage as he launches his party's EU referendum bus tour at Smith Square in London.
Ukip leader Nigel Farage (left) poses with local Ramsgate taxi driver Chris Bissett during his party's referendum bus tour in Thanet, Kent.
Ukip leader Nigel Farage and Kate Hoey on board a boat taking part in a Fishing for Leave pro-Brexit "flotilla" on the River Thames, London.
Ukip leader Nigel Farage launches a new Ukip EU referendum poster campaign in Smith Square, London.
File photo dated 24/06/16 of Ukip Leader Nigel Farage at the Leave EU party in London, where he claimed victory for the Leave campaign in the EU referendum. Three and a half years after the referendum, the UK will leave the European Union at 11pm on Friday.
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Kate Hoey MP, Nigel Farage and David Davis MP at a Leave Means Leave rally at the University of Bolton Stadium in Bolton. (Photo by Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images)
Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage leads the March to Leave protest as they make their way through Nuthall, Nottingham on their way to London over a 14-day period, arriving in the capital on March 29, where a mass rally will take place on Parliament Square. (Photo by Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images)
Nigel Farage speaking at the launch the Brexit Party's European Parliament elections campaign in Coventry. (Photo by Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images)

In its letter to Mr Farage, Reform said: "We are determinedly independent and strictly non-party political.

"As a charity, this independence is absolutely core to our reputation and work, and therefore the longstanding goodwill in our name."

It warned Mr Farage that "renaming the Brexit Party 'Reform UK' risks undermining that goodwill through the confusion and/or presumed association with a political party".

The think tank's director Charlotte Pickles said: "We are flattered that Mr Farage would want to copy our name, however in doing so he is undermining almost two decades of work establishing our reputation for producing genuinely reformist and evidence-based policy research.

"We are a small charity and our independent, non-party political status is absolutely central to our ability to raise funds to support our work.

"We are kindly asking Mr Farage and the Brexit Party to consider our very serious concerns and pick a different name."

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