"Reform UK" announces Michelle Ballantyne MSP as its new Scottish leader

(Left) Richard Tice, former MEP and Chairman of Reform UK. (Right) Reform UK Party Scotland leader Michelle Ballantyne Credit: PA

The Reform UK Party, formally known as The Brexit Party, has launched in Scotland and announced Michelle Ballantyne MSP as its leader.

The independent MSP for Southern Scotland will sit in the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood as a Reform UK Scotland member.

Ballantyne quit the Scottish Conservatives in November, just ten months after she tried to become its leader, blaming differences in party policies for her exit. 

Richard Tice, former MEP and Chairman of Reform UK, said she will be a "strong leader who understands Scotland" with "real life experience and integrity".

Speaking about the need for Reform UK in Scotland, Michelle Ballantyne said: “We are pro Scotland and pro the UK because we believe it is simply the best choice for the people of these islands."

Reflecting on the pandemic, Michelle Ballantyne said Scotland needs an "exit strategy, not just out of Covid but to recover from lockdowns".

The party says it will be standing candidates in the regional lists of the forthcoming Scottish Parliament elections and will decide its own policy platform and choose its own candidates through a national management board, drawn from Scottish supporters.