Manchester’s Conservative Mayoral Candidate, Dan Barker, Switches Allegiance to Reform Party

(Credits: Sky News)

There was a noticeable change in Greater Manchester’s political scene when Dan Barker, the Conservative candidate for Mayor, grabbed attention by switching to the Reform Party.

Barker’s decision to join Reform UK comes amidst accusations leveled against his former party, claiming that the Conservatives have neglected the North of England in favor of focusing on southern constituencies threatened by the Liberal Democrats.

In explaining his decision, Barker criticized the Conservative Party‘s strategy, alleging that it prioritizes safeguarding its position in the South East and South West regions over addressing the needs and concerns of Greater Manchester and the wider North.

He emphasized a perceived lack of attention and investment in the region, suggesting that the Tories have effectively conceded ground to other political forces.

(The Independent)

Barker’s move to Reform UK follows in the footsteps of fellow Conservative, Lee Anderson, who also defected earlier in the month.

This transition underscores a growing sentiment among some Tories that the Reform party presents a viable alternative, particularly in light of its stance on key issues such as immigration and net zero policies.

Reform UK, led by Richard Tice and with Nigel Farage as its honorary president, has positioned itself as a platform for disillusioned Conservative voters.

The party’s commitment to addressing concerns surrounding Brexit, immigration, and climate policies has resonated with a segment of the electorate, reflected in its polling figures which show around 10% of national voting intention.

Richard Tice (Credits: The Telegraph(

Despite Reform UK’s emergence as a potential challenger, Tice has ruled out the possibility of standing aside in certain constituencies to avoid splitting the Leave vote, as was done under the Brexit Party banner in the 2019 general election.

This decision indicates the party’s determination to contest seats across the country, including in Greater Manchester, where it aims to capitalize on perceived dissatisfaction with the current political establishment.