OK, I admit it. I voted ‘LEAVE’. And now I’ve joined Renew - a party committed to staying in the E.U., if possible through a second referendum.
So why did I do it? Simply because I am profoundly, desperately disappointed by the mess this Conservative government has made of the negotiations.
I voted ‘Leave’, after a great deal of thought, because I disliked the movement of the European Union towards greater political union. I had been in Brussels the year before and saw a large banner decorating the E.U. Headquarters which said: ‘#TEAM JUNCKER’. I had no desire to be part of ‘Team Juncker’.
Yet not only has Theresa May failed to create a deal that unites the country; the current Withdrawal Agreement contains the fatal flaw of placing an E.U. veto on the U.K. being able to withdraw from a temporary - temporary - customs union. What a mess!
Angry at the bungling Conservatives and impatient with the totally impractical solutions of the Labour Party - where can anyone who cares for this country place their support? Surely the Liberal Democrats could offer me a home? The Liberal Who, I hear you say?
I realised a new solution was needed. I have been here before. In 1981 I was a founding member of the Council for Social Democracy, campaigning for a new start in British politics. Now, in 2018, I believe the country needs this new start again. People are fed up, disillusioned and dispirited. Faith in the existing parties is vanishing fast and, in the vacuum, voters are moving to the extremes.
It’s all in the name: Renew. It’s time to offer that new start. That’s why I joined. No other reason. Just – to RENEW.
by Richard Langridge
"As a police officer we used to allow homeless individuals to sleep in the cells because it gave them a roof over their head. The act was good, the fact that it happened was an indictment on society. We all benefit if those who are vulnerable are supported and can thrive. We need new approaches to tackle the root causes of homelessness."
- Annabel Mullin, Renew Party Leader
Homelessness in the UK
- In 2017-18, 7,500 people slept rough on the streets of London. 
- 57,7303 homeless people were owed housing by councils in England in 2015-16.
- Crisis estimates that there are approximately 3.52m homeless adults currently ‘concealed’ in other households in the UK. 
- In 2017, there were around 4,751 people sleeping rough across England per night in 2017 - a 15% increase compared to the previous year, and more than double the amount in 2010. 
- The number of homeless people dying on the streets or in temporary accommodation in the UK has more than doubled over the past five years to more than one per week.
- The average life expectancy of those sleeping rough is just 43. 
The charity Crisis cites those leaving the army, prison, care or fleeing violent relationships as especially vulnerable to homelessness. Relationship breakdown and substance abuse are important contributing factors.  Homelessness carries both physical and mental health risks, including respiratory conditions, depression, anxiety, injury and excess winter mortality. 
As numbers of homeless in the UK continue to rise, it is increasingly important to look beyond personal circumstances and turn to wider government policy as a reason for homelessness. Social democratic policy during the 20th century led to a clear reduction in poverty and income inequality, and a subsequent drop in numbers of homeless. This number rose sharply under Thatcher’s neoliberal welfare retrenchment.  There is an undeniable correlation between homelessness and a lack of investment in welfarism - indeed, numbers of homeless in the UK have soared since the introduction of austerity by around 134%.  According to the BMJ, spiralling homelessness is a product of welfare reform and the housing market, which are responsible for many families losing their privately rented housing. Rising housing costs combined with a reduced availability of affordable and social housing and reduced housing support benefit to vulnerable people (cut by 59% in real terms since 2010). 
As homelessness has continued to rise in the UK, it has fallen by 35% in Finland over the same time period. This comes after the Finnish government rolled out their pilot ‘housing first’ scheme, which provides homes for the homeless on an unconditional basis. This differs from the UK system under which homes are only provided on the basis of engaging with social and treatment services. The evidence from Finland, as well as other similar schemes around the world, is remarkable - a housing first approach not only reduces homelessness but improves engagement in treatment services and produces an addiction recovery rate similar to that of a ‘treatment first’ approach. Further still, the scheme has resulted in overall government savings as the use of emergency health services, police and criminal justice systems have fallen. 
In August 2018, the UK government revealed plans for an ‘extra £100m’ to be invested into solving the problem of homelessness and rough sleeping. However, it was quickly revealed that half of this has already been committed and the other half was money set to be re-prioritised from other existing budgets. Of the money allocated, around £30m will be spent on treatment for mental health issues and substance abuse among the homeless population, including training for staff on how to treat those affected by the synthetic drug Spice. £50m will be put towards building homes outside London for those ready to move on from refuges or hostels.  The new strategy also acknowledges the added barriers faced by migrants when trying to access existing support networks and sets out to provide funding for localities working with non-UK nationals, and create a rough sleeping support team mandated to help resolve the immigration status of homeless migrants. 
Though arguably a step in the right direction, the policy has been criticised for its ‘lack of urgency’, and its failure to address the root causes of homelessness. The government has promised to conduct a wider review of relevant legislation, as well as a study to assess the impacts of government legislation on all forms of homelessness, including welfare and housing policy. However, experts argue that these measures will not go far enough; in order to tackle the worst forms of homelessness government strategy must focus on significantly increasing the supply of social housing, and ensuring that the real cost of renting is covered by the housing system. 
A report by the Communities and Local Government Select Committee suggests that housing benefit claimants should have the option to paying rent directly to landlords to reduce their debt vulnerability and incentivise landlords to rent to those at risk of becoming homeless. Those who have lost their jobs should be given a grace period of one or two months before losing the housing element of universal credit. The annual cap on benefit payments to one family of £20,000 (and £23,000 in London) could worsen the problem. 
In 1990, an obscure professor defeated rich Republican incumbent Rudy Boschwitz in the US Senate race for Minnesota. Outspent by a 7-1 margin, Paul Wellstone defied pollsters and pundits to deliver an election victory for people from outside politics. A funny TV advert for his campaign was shorter than usual because, in Wellstone’s own words: “I don’t have six million dollars, so I’m going to have to talk fast”.
In Britain, the underdog can win too. 1945’s surprise victory for Labour came at a time of unprecedented social change in the aftermath of World War Two. We now face a similarly pivotal moment as the country struggles to deal with the effects of the EU referendum. Business as usual, it isn’t.
What’s more, election upsets are no longer as surprising as they once were. Donald Trump ran a far cheaper campaign than Hillary Clinton in 2016 and was considered a serious underdog – yet he won the presidency regardless. That year’s vote for Brexit in the UK was also an unexpected victory for the Leave campaign. Since then, populists around the world have succeeded in getting elected as a growing number of people protest economic insecurity in the aftermath of 2008’s financial crisis.
Obviously, Renew is not part of this right-wing populist wave. We reject the cynical approach of illiberal demagogues. Yet the lessons of the past few years have put to bed the idea that political upsets cannot happen in old democracies like ours. Indeed, with the clever use of modern media and digital platforms, it is entirely possible to run a successful political campaign with a relatively small budget. It costs nothing to bring thousands of ordinary people together on a WhatsApp group. A party event on Facebook can snowball into something much bigger simply by users sharing its details to their friends.
There is a world of possibilities out there for an innovative and agile new force in UK politics, despite our system’s hostility to new parties. Pessimism – centred on outdated ideas about ‘splitting the vote’ or change being ‘impossible’ – is being dreamt away by positivity and new campaigning techniques. Establishment money and the historical record can give institutional parties a head start, but that alone is no longer enough to win them elections.
One thing is certain: if a 1945 moment is to happen in the UK, we must first toss out the idea that a fresh start is foolish. In the era of the political underdog, such thoughts are no longer accurate.
People are ready to back a political start-up and Renew has put its hat in the ring. We think you will agree that there has never been a better time to support a party of people from outside politics, taking on an Establishment that has failed the people it is supposed to represent. It is time to reject the lies, reform politics and reboot Britain.
It’s depressing to be told that your vote doesn’t count. Last year at the general election 22 million votes were ‘wasted’ - they did not count in the final total.
They were ‘wasted’ because our system does not recognise the proportional value of each vote. That’s the first past the post system for you. Is it any wonder that people think ‘why bother’ with this democracy thing?
Because of this, our democracy is a lazy one. There are areas where ‘a blue rosette on a donkey could win’, swapping the colour blue for red in Labour areas. There will be no change in the elected representative, because there is no incentive in ‘safe’ seats. Accountability is lost when seats are considered safe, so we get candidates who remain in parliament for years. Monopolies, in politics as well as business, breed contempt, with no competition and no vigorous debate.
Safe seats also make the opposition lazy; it doesn’t try in areas it ‘can’t’ win. So it often fields ‘paper’ candidates, ones who stand as tokens in the system. These people don’t expect nor often want to win, but stand to give the illusion of a democracy even when it doesn’t exist. They even sign forms to say they will not actively canvass or campaign to avoid spending money. That is democracy in our country: dysfunctional and unrepresentative.
Our democracy needs reform. The EU referendum vote was a loud and clear call for change, even if that change wasn’t clear. Yet voters were told that their vote counted - and it did. So now is the time to offer systematic change in elections by reforming our lazy democracy. That means changing how our votes are counted, renewing campaigning laws and fighting for a chance to represent the population.
It is a privilege and an honour to represent people at a local, national or international level. It is high time our politics reflected that with votes that matter.
By Annabel Mullin, Renew Party Leader
The majority of the NHS’s imports come from overseas businesses, and rising import costs post- Brexit pose a significant threat to purchasing budgets. Around £5.7bn per year (or around 4% or the NHS’s overall budget) is currently being spent on the procurement of supplies and medical equipment.
This means that there are huge potential savings to be made by streamlining current procurement procedures in order to ensure maximum efficiency.  For example, falls have been estimated to cost the NHS around £2bn per year, but a new technology introduced to the Salford Royal Foundation Trust has the potential to reduce patient falls by up to 57%. Light therapy sleep masks have also been introduced in select practices to tackle the progressive blindness caused by diabetes and macular degeneration, and it is claimed that these technologies alone could save the NHS up to £1bn per year.
This is would be enough to cover the earnings of an extra 16,000 junior doctors. The benefits to both patients and the NHS as a whole from such initiatives could be enormous.  The procurement process at present is complex, fragmented, and in drastic need of reform. Even once a product has been approved, procurements teams must convince every hospital to adopt it one by one, something smaller businesses cannot easily afford to do.
The main goal of hospital procurement staff is reduce their individual purchasing prices, rather than concentrating on strategies that reduce costs for their organisation as a whole. The disunited purchasing structure of the NHS has meant that the adoption of new technologies has turned into a ‘postcode lottery’. 
It is vital moving forward that the focus of solving the challenges of NHS procurement moves towards establishing a national standard for product pricing and reducing product variation. This will allow major savings to be made through aggregation.
Several initiative has already been established to achieve these aims;
- The Nationally Contracted Products (NCP) programme has produced a list of products recommended for purchase by NHS organisations. By stimulating overall demand, this will reduce total purchasing costs and allow for greater saving. It is estimated that the purchase cost of couch roles alone could be reduced by up to 15% using this method.
- The High Cost Tariff Excluded Devices programme aims to centralise procurement of high-tech devices to achieve greater pricing transparency.
- The Trusted Customer Company programme allows senior procurement experts to develop closer working relationships with the NHS supply chain, combining efforts to optimise strategy for priority product categories.
- The independent NHS Clinicians Evaluation Team conducts centralised product evaluation and selects products for use in NHS organisations, reducing the need for local evaluation activities. 
This work could and should be done by a single, centralised body, with the responsibility of receiving, processing and evaluating product initiatives submitted to it. This organisation could then assess which technologies should be applied regionally or nationally and in which departments, and be able to mandate the uptake of some and strongly recommend the uptake of others. 
"Renew is interested in championing precision public health and precision medicine. Data driven innovation, amalgamating knowledge and with the emphasis on smarter systems is just one arm of our NHS policy. Centralising procurement has significant benefits and savings and whilst the work so far has been impressive there is a need for a more coherent approach."
Call to Arms, British Expats – Your country needs you – Aux Armes Citoyens Britanniques!
An Appeal from Renew, the UK’s most credible new political party
Britain is in serious trouble, with all the established political parties fighting for their own agendas and survival instead of the best interest of the country. Brexit is a train crash waiting to happen and Renew is urging a rethink to prevent this calamity.
Renew is a new party that aims to reverse Brexit and restore our influential position in Europe, allowing us to focus on what really matters in the UK. We know the Brexit vote was a symptom of deeper discontent with the way things are run in Britain. It was a kick against the establishment, against inequality and austerity, against a system that hasn’t worked for everyone. It was a protest by people who feel neglected and whose lives have not improved. Renew is building policies to address their grievances so people realise there’s a better way to solve their problems than Brexit.
Leaving the EU will hurt everyone – including you as British expats. Since the drop in sterling, your spending power has gone down and your future is uncertain as your rights are being traded away in negotiations. After Brexit you may face extra taxes and a loss of free health care and you’ll lose freedom of movement rights across the rest of the EU along with 65 million other Brits. Renew will safeguard your rights by persuading people – politicians and
citizens alike – that we must stop Brexit for the good of us all.
The tide is turning, now we know more what Brexit really means. There’s still time to stop this ruinous path if we all act now. We’re lobbying for a ‘people’s vote’ on the final EU deal, along with other campaigning groups. This time, let’s do it right. We’ll push for you to have vote as a British national, no matter how long you’ve lived abroad.
In the meantime, you can do four things to help us help you:
- Follow us on social media and sign on as a supporter
Register to vote in your last constituency if you’ve lived abroad less than 15 years.
You need to be ready to play your part in case there’s another ‘people’s vote’ on the
final EU deal or a snap election. Here’s the link https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.
Please make a donation – up to £500 if you’re not still on the UK Electoral Register
and any amount if you’re still allowed to vote in the UK.
Spread the word to relatives and friends in the UK to support Renew, follow us on
social media and donate.
Renew will fight your corner but we need everyone to play their part now while there’s still time to change our future.
Find out more at www.renewbritain.org or email us at email@example.com
For media inquiries only, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 7968 862195
New party Renew welcomes local elections result, taking votes from all parties, and beating Liberal Democrats, Greens and UKIP in key target wards
New centrist party Renew welcomed local election results, as candidates picked up votes from all parties and beat Liberal Democrats, Greens and UKIP in target wards. The party, which officially launched in February, ran campaigns in 16 wards in London and North Tyneside on a platform to stop Brexit and fight for a fairer Britain, with better representation from committed candidates.
David Britten, Renew head of operations and candidate in St Mary’s Ward, Wandsworth: “We’re proud of all our candidates and supporters and grateful for their enthusiasm and efforts. Though we didn’t win seats, it’s a success for us to have achieved so much, so quickly, without the major resources of others. We gained great campaign experience and connected to people, showing them who we are and what we stand for. We’ve demonstrated the appetite for a new centrist party and shown we’re ready for the fight.”
James Cousins, Renew councillor in Shaftesbury Ward, Wandsworth, was upbeat despite losing his seat. “Though squeezed by the two main parties in this major battleground, we showed we can take votes away from them and be competitive against the Liberal Democrats, Greens and UKIP. For example, Chris Coghlan won 10% of the vote in Balham. As a councillor for 20 years, I have no regrets about leaving the Tories and then standing for Renew because it’s what I believe in. People responded to the feeling that we really represent them, rather than parties that have moved to the extreme right and left. The demand is there for Renew from among the millions of politically homeless in this country.”
Tom Bailey, standing in the North East, came ahead of other parties in Tynemouth, North Tyneside. “On the campaign trail, people liked the idea of building a new party from the grassroots up. While some were anxious about Brexit, others preferred to talk about taking back control locally, through community-led neighbourhood planning. Our challenge will be to break through people’s tribal loyalties and offer them a better model of democracy. This could be the solution to the Brexit nightmare, which has split the country down the middle.”
Jane Hilton stood with husband George Hilton in Wandsworth, gaining several hundred votes each and beating some Liberal Democrat candidates: “Our platform to stop Brexit and address people’s core concerns in a more meaningful way really resonated, especially with the many pro-EU voters and European nationals. People are concerned that economic damage caused by Brexit will lead to more cuts to local authorities, including services like policing, leading to a rise in street crime.”
James Torrance, Renew Party Principal: “This is a good result for us, as a brand new party charting a different way forward. We are responding to the clear message that people are fed up with the major parties, anxious about Brexit and feel existing politicians are out of touch. We will keep listening and building our vision of a modern Britain open to free markets and technological change, while ensuring that big social divisions and inequalities are addressed.”
Sandra Khadhouri, Renew Party Principal: “This is just the beginning. We will now focus on mobilising our grassroots base of 4000 supporters and volunteers and 1000 people who applied to be Parliamentary candidates, so we can ensure our agenda for change is based on real needs. Our sights are set on future elections – campaigning to Remain in a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal and challenging a general election which, judging by the state of the current government, may come sooner rather than later. Renew is the party of the future.”
Third councillor, a veteran Labour politician, defects to Renew as new centrist party contests local elections
Renew has gained its third seat in local government in another defection to the party, as further proof of its appeal as the natural home of the politically disaffected. John Ferrett, a Labour veteran of 27 years who quit the party in protest at Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, joined Renew this week. He takes his place alongside two other defectors, who came to Renew after first breaking away from their parties to sit as independents.
Councillor Ferrett, a former Labour group leader of Portsmouth City Council, applauded Renew for “bravely” establishing a centrist alternative to the far-left and hard-right extremes of Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour and Theresa May’s Conservatives: ‘‘I urge centrists to support this new movement offering the many millions of politically homeless voters a positive alternative to the political extremes. Rather than looking back to an imagined golden age of empire or reheating the failed policies of the 1970s, Renew is about looking forward, striving to work in partnership, seeking consensus, and dealing with the world as it is, not as ideologues believe it should be.”
Renew secured its first representation in local government last Autumn, when Judi Sutherland, a long-time Labour councillor in Durham’s Barnard Castle, switched to Renew.
Long-serving former Conservative James Cousins – a councillor in the key London borough of Wandsworth – joined the new party last month.
Renew also recently welcomed popular Labour veteran Mike Le Surf, a former councillor in Brentwood and parliamentary candidate in South Basildon, Essex. Le Surf will stand for Renew in the next general election.“There is a passion and a vision within Renew that offers a different future for our country. I feel party politics has become areal turn-off so a full slate of Renew candidates from outside politics, chosen on merit is so refreshing. And now that the disastrous facts of a hard Brexit are becoming clearer, Renew offers the best chance to stay in the EU and reform our country.”
The gains have spurred on the party, as 16 Renew candidates contest seats in May 3rd local elections in London and the North East. Renew’s brand of open, inclusive, trustworthy politics is increasingly finding favour with disillusioned voters and politicians. Le Surf joins more than 220 parliamentary candidates selected from over 1000 applications nationwide. The grassroots party has 4000 registered volunteers and supporters and aims to mobilise 650 candidates to campaign in elections on a platform to remain in the EU and renew Britain.
For media interviews: email@example.com or 0203 239 1692 / 07968 862195.
For further information: www.renewbritain.org
New centrist party Renew receives positive response in local elections campaign with message to stop Brexit and restore integrity to politics
Renew candidates campaigning for council seats in May 3rd local elections are reporting a last minute surge of support among politically homeless voters, especially in the key Conservative stronghold of Wandsworth which voted 75% to remain in the EU referendum. Renew has 16 candidates campaigning for seats on councils in North Tyneside in the North East, and London’s Tower Hamlets, South Ealing, Chiswick. Greenwich and Wandsworth. Candidates are urging people to send a message to government to stop the Brexit process and focus on fixing the many problems that led to it.
Founder Chris Coghlan is standing in Wandsworth, along with 8 other Renew candidates: “We’re noticing much stronger support as the most active anti-Brexit party here. People are angry and turning away from the Conservatives and Labour with their hard Brexit positions. They’re coming to us as a serious and credible alternative.”
The party is appealing for votes from EU nationals, barred from voting in the referendum, as well as many voters disgruntled with established parties. Candidate Caroline Poschl is an economist and Austrian Londoner: “I’ve examined the government’s own forecasts and impact assessments and people are right to worry. Brexit will hollow out the high street. Local jobs and amenities will be lost but the main effect will be a creeping one – our local businesses, services and incomes will be hampered for decades.”
Renew is also calling for more central government funding for councils struggling to deliver basic services after eight years of Conservative cutbacks. Some local budgets have been slashed by as much as 40%. Renew’s chief of operations and former policeman David Britten is standing in the Wandsworth ward of St Mary’s: “The discontent and anger caused by the cuts is palpable. Promises to build more affordable housing have not been kept. Crime is rising; health care and social services are in crisis. When we explain our vision of how politics could be, delivered by people of integrity from outside the system putting communities first, they see we’re the only viable option.”
On the doorstep, Renew candidates are finding voters eager to turn their backs on the ineffectual status quo of left-right political extremes. The party’s brand of open, inclusive, trustworthy politics is resonating with local voters across the UK. Alex Jacob is one of two Renew candidates in North Tyneside: “We’re getting a lot of support from local people concerned that British politics has headed to the extremes and is ignoring the vast majority of people who naturally prefer a centre-ground, pragmatic party.”
Background: Renew is a registered political party established in Autumn 2017 on a campaign to Rethink Brexit, Renew Britain. Building on mass disaffection with political parties, Renew has enjoyed overwhelming support for its centrist agenda to address inequality and create a new vision for modern Britain. Renew aims to deploy 650 credible candidates for any future election and will campaign to remain in the EU in any vote on the final deal. For further information: see www.renewbritain.org or email Party Principal and Head of Communications Sandra Khadhouri firstname.lastname@example.org 0203 239 1692 or 07968 862195.
Renew, the most advanced new party in UK politics, has issued an open offer to join forces with those planning to follow its lead in staking out the centre ground of UK politics.Potential parties have been a recent focus in the media. (“New centrist party gets £50m backing to ‘break mould’ of UK politics”, Observer, 8 April 2018). “It’s encouraging to see so many recognising the need for a party like ours,” says Renew principal James Torrance. “We’re well on our way to breaking the mould of two-party politics, bringing new voices into politics from all walks of life, people with integrity and courage to fight for their communities.”
Renew is encouraging people of all political persuasions to join its visionary people-centred party. Its support is drawn from those alarmed by the Brexit path, party infighting and politicians bent on shelving their principles and the national interest in favour of party loyalty. “People deserve to know another future is possible now, not next year. There’s still time to stop the discredited major parties pushing through a damaging Brexit, so we can get on with the business of real change that people are crying out for,” said Party principal Sandra Khadhouri. “We offer the whole package: a modern progressive party of the people with a vision of renewal, opportunity and social mobility. Let’s all fight for a fairer UK that celebrates its traditions and retains the benefits of EU membership.”
Since Renew launched in Autumn last year, Renew has received over 1000 applications from potential parliamentary candidates from across the country and been inundated with offers of support from 3,500 volunteers and supporters. The party has also recruited regional coordinators to manage local campaigns. Renew’s campaign to contest seats in upcoming local elections has received a positive response on the doorstep, with many encouraged to hear of a genuine alternative. Over the next few months, Renew will be releasing details of its policy programme, based on best practice and the concerns of people canvassed during its ongoing Listen to Britain nationwide tour.
Principal James Clarke described the party’s appeal. “We are rapidly becoming the political home of choice for millions of disaffected people who fear the UK will become an inward-facing island of inequality, insignificance and economic decline. We are open to politically homeless politicians too, but only if committed to our vision for radical change. For those wanting change, the time is now.”
Background: Renew is a registered political party set by a group of independent candidates who stood in 2017 elections on a campaign to Rethink Brexit, Renew Britain. Building on mass disaffection with existing political parties, Renew has enjoyed overwhelming support for its centrist agenda to address inequality and create a new vision for modern Britain. Renew aims to recruit and train 650 credible candidates for any future election and will campaign to remain in the EU in any vote on the final deal. For further information: see www.renewbritain.org or contact Renew Press Office at email@example.com 0203 239 1692 or 07968 862195.