Renew began in 2017 when a group of individuals, including James Torrance and James Clarke, stood as independent candidates in the 2017 general election. They joined forces to oppose the institutional and fractured parties that had brought the UK to a political crisis.
In the autumn of 2017, the party registered with the Electoral Commission and started recruiting candidates from outside politics. By Christmas, following some positive coverage in the press, over 200 potential candidates had applied.
Following our official launch in February 2018, we embarked on our Listen to Britain Tour, visiting 22 towns and cities, meeting Renew supporters, holding street stalls, addressing students in schools and universities and conducting over 5000 surveys.
In May 2018, Renew stood candidates in local elections in London and the North East and went on to merge with the Advance Party in September. At our November National Assembly, we launched a policy platform, new website, new branding and announced our first group of candidates.
2019 brought us the Newport West by-election, where Renew’s first parliamentary candidate, June Davies, won almost 4% of the popular vote. This was followed by the European elections, where we supported Change UK’s pro-Remain effort and more local elections that gave Renew its first two elected councillors, John Bates (Morecambe) and Eric Cooper (Bedford).
After our first Summer Conference in Birmingham, Renew’s members agreed that the party should reach out to others and help forge a Remain Alliance for a potential general election. Ex-MEP Julie Girling was also ratified as our Interim Leader.
We are now focused on announcing prospective parliamentary candidates while building alliances to give the pro-European cause the best chance of winning an election.