Imitating the nation’s favourite political failure, Change UK, four Brexit Party MEPs have broken away from their party today – calling on their supporters to reallocate their votes to the Conservative Party.
But who exactly are these four rebels? Given our in-depth coverage of the Brexit Party over the past few months, we know their backgrounds better than most. Unfortunately.
Lance Forman, London MEP
As Lance Forman never forgets to remind people, he runs a smoked salmon business. Forman’s Twitter profile photo is literally him holding a giant salmon.
Forman’s fish company is so famous that even Boris Johnson himself has taken a keen interest in his produce. Johnson opened the new headquarters of H. Forman and Son, while he was Mayor of London, and even has a Forman salmon bagel named after him.
Johnson attracted criticism after it was revealed that his government had given free publicity to H. Forman and Son, by featuring it in “Get Ready for Brexit” adverts.
Recently, we reported that Forman had promoted a wild conspiracy theory about the “Nazi background” of an EU founding figure.
It seems that Forman will continue his rage against the EU, just without the backing of Nigel Farage.
Annunziata Rees-Mogg, East Midlands MEP
Annunziata Rees-Mogg used to be a devoted member of the Conservative Party, just like her brother, Jacob.
She confessed to the Independent in 2006 that she joined the party when she was just five years old, and started canvassing when she was eight. In today’s press conference she claimed that she had no real involvement with professional politics before now. Perhaps Jacob joined the party when he was three, which makes her just a casual political activist.
A freelance journalist, Rees-Mogg caused a stir on social media when she was selected as a Brexit Party MEP candidate, after old articles were revealed in which she advised companies how to profit from drought.
Lucy Harris, Yorkshire and Humber MEP
Formerly a communications specialist, Harris took her mastery of the field to the Brexit Party, when she got involved in its European elections campaign.
Since then, Harris has encouraged people to break the law and get arrested if an anti-Brexit government is formed, and has told Brexiteers to shout “surrender” at Remainers in the middle of the street.
Clearly a world-class communicator.
John Longworth, Yorkshire and Humber MEP
It’s unclear whether John Longworth was pushed before he jumped. Yesterday, the Brexit Party announced that Longworth had been ditched as an MEP, for “undermining” Nigel Farage’s election strategy.
At today’s press conference, Longworth claimed that Farage’s decision was actually due to Longworth’s refusal to disclose a confidential European Parliament vote to senior Brexit Party figures. Either way, he’s almost certainly been scratched off Farage’s Christmas list this year.
Before Longworth’s fleeting political love affair with the Brexit Party, he was the director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, as well as the chairman of Leave Means Leave – an influential pro-Brexit group with close ties to Farage and Brexit Party chairman Richard Tice.
Perhaps Longworth’s resignation reflects the fact that he takes the Leave Means Leave slogan a bit too literally.