Yusuf replaces Tice as Reform chairman in party shake-up

by Pelican Press
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Yusuf replaces Tice as Reform chairman in party shake-up

Entrepreneur Zia Yusuf has replaced Richard Tice as Reform UK’s chairman, one week after the general election which saw the party gain five seats.

Mr Tice, one of the party’s newly elected MPs, will become Reform’s deputy leader in Parliament and for the party as a whole.

Lee Anderson, who defected to Reform from the Conservatives, will be in charge of party discipline as its chief whip.

Party leader Nigel Farage said the appointments were a “first step to ensure that Reform UK is fit and ready to take forward its positive message”.

However, Ben Habib, who lost his deputy leader role, said he had “long held concerns” about the leadership of the party and was “considering his position more generally in light of this charge”.

“The key for me is that Reform UK stays true to the promises made to the British people. The movement we have created does not belong to us, it belongs to the people. We are obliged and indebted to the British people,” he said in a post on social media.

Mr Habib’s involvement in the party goes back many years. He served as member of the European Parliament for the party in 2019 when it was called the Brexit Party.

He failed to win a parliamentary seat in last week’s elections, coming third in Wellingborough and Rushden.

Five of his party colleagues were more successful, with Mr Farage winning in Clacton and Mr Tice, who is a major Reform donor, securing the set of Boston and Skegness.

The party’s new chair Zia Yusuf did not stand as a candidate but donated hundreds of thousands of pounds to the party and appeared at campaign events.

Mr Zusuf made an estimated £31m last year after selling his luxury concierge app Velocity Black.

His parents came from Sri Lanka to Britain in the 1980s, where they worked for the NHS.

Speaking to the BBC earlier this year, he said the UK needed “grown-up discussion about immigration without name-calling”.

He said he believed the country had “lost control of our borders”.

Responding to his new appointment, Mr Yusuf said: “It is an honour to be appointed Chairman of Reform UK.

“Against all odds, under Nigel Farage’s leadership, our people’s movement won four million votes, elected five MPs with 98 second places.

“This is just the beginning. The important work of professionalising the party, building national infrastructure and continuing to grow membership has already begun.”

During the election campaign, Mr Farage suggested Mr Yusuf could one day lead the party.

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