Renew began in 2017 with a group of individuals, including James Torrance and James Clarke, who stood as independent candidates in the 2017 general election, with a view to opposing the institutional and fractured parties that had brought the UK to a political crisis.
Renew was born of a small, determined group of people who were politically homeless and felt strongly enough about it to stand as independent candidates in the 2017 snap-election and to fund themselves to do it.
This core group recognised that politics in the UK was fracturing and that a major realignment was in the post. The institutional parties could no longer command the loyalties of their traditional voter bases. The major issues facing the UK had been consistently ignored or mismanaged by successive governments made up of all the major parties. We also recognised that stopping Brexit alone would not be enough to fix the country. It was time for something new.
In the autumn of 2017, the party registered with the Electoral Commission and started recruiting candidates from outside politics who are prepared to stand up and represent the party at elections. By Christmas, following some positive coverage in the press, over 200 potential candidates had applied and had started the vetting process.
Renew was founded by people who want to create a better country with genuine political solutions. We come from all walks of life and believe that a new force of dedicated people from outside politics can better serve their constituents than our current crop of politicians. On February 19th 2018, Renew was officially launched at a press conference in London.
Following the launch, we embarked on our Listen To Britain tour, visiting 22 towns and cities meeting Renew supporters, holding street stalls and campaign events, addressing students in schools and universities and conducting over 5000 surveys.
In May, Renew stood candidates in local elections in London and the North East and through the summer we worked to distil the messages, experiences and suggestions into a cohesive policy platform.
Our merger with Advance Together in September gave us a huge boost, with the injection of experienced campaigners and the leadership skills of Annabel Mullin. We have a long-term vision of a country that is richer, healthier, educated, safer, cleaner, greener and fairer. We are focused on dealing with the real problems and fears currently facing us at home, in the community, nationally and internationally. These include insecurity about jobs, safety, homes, a stagnant and uncertain economy, and health concerns.
At the National Assembly in November, Renew launched our policy platform, new website, new branding and announced our first group of committed candidates. We are now focussed on harnessing the skills and passion of our supporters, members and candidates to grow the party into a major force in UK politics.