Evening Standard

Anti-Brexit party Renew gets first council seat in Wandsworth

- Joe Murphy

A NEW anti-Brexit political party has obtained its first council seat after being joined by a former Conservati­ve councillor.

James Cousins, a Wandsworth councillor who left the Conservati­ves three years ago, was sitting as an independen­t until he joined Renew because of its clear opposition to Brexit.

It is a breakthrou­gh for the fledgling party, which was founded last year by Chris Coghlan, a former Foreign Office counter-terror official.

Renew now plans to field 20 candidates in Wandsworth, a key battlegrou­nd, in May’s London elections.

Speaking to the Evening Standard, Mr Cousins, a 44-year-old NHS manager, said: “I left the Conservati­ves because they represente­d backward-looking factions and interests rather than the ambitions of local residents. I’m proud to lead Renew locally and offer an alternativ­e for people no longer represente­d by the hijacked traditiona­l parties.”

Mr Coghlan, 37, said: “It has been hard work since I left the Foreign Office to do this and it is great that people are starting to believe in what we are trying to do. There was a 75 per cent Remain vote in Wandsworth. We are standing to give voters the opportunit­y to send a message to their MPs to oppose Brexit.”

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