A REFORM UK candidate in St Helens has said the party is the “opposition to Labour” in red wall constituencies.

Malcolm Webster, who is standing for the party in St Helens North in July's general election, says Reform has replaced the Conservatives as the “opposition” in traditional Labour heartland areas.

The Nigel Farage-led party has outscored the Conservatives in some recent national opinion polls ahead of the election.

“We are now in all the red wall seats the opposition to Labour, it’s not the Tories anymore,” said Mr Webster.

“Everyone should go out and look at what the actual policies are of each of the parties, don’t vote by historical allegiance, get out there and look at policies and decide which one is best for you and your families.

"Don’t just vote because you’ve always voted Labour and always voted Tory. Let’s have a conversation.

Malcolm Webster is Reform UK's St Helens North candidateMalcolm Webster is Reform UK's St Helens North candidate (Image: Submitted)

“We’re (Reform UK) not some right-wing party, we’re certainly not ‘far right’, there are many more people from the left of politics who have joined Reform than probably from the right.

“We just want something that’s fair for everyone, and especially people who work.”

Thatto Heath-raised ex-police officer Mr Webster said one of the focuses of Reform’s pledges is to “make work pay” and cited the party’s proposal to raise the income tax threshold to £20,000. Also among the party’s pledges is also to axe the ‘net zero’ target.

Mr Webster said: “We have to reward work and we have to make work pay, you’ve got to get to the situation where we want people in work, we want to encourage people to work and one of the ways to do it to them is to say, ‘if you work you get more money’.”

Mr Webster described Reform as the opposition to Labour in the townMr Webster described Reform as the opposition to Labour in the town (Image: Canva/PA)

He said immigration is also an issue which has been mentioned by residents in St Helens, with Reform proposing a freeze on "non-essential" immigration.

“At first I didn’t think the immigration issue would be much of a debate around St Helens but it is, more over the last year or so,” he added.

“It has affected people, this isn’t about people coming to the country and working or running here for safety from a war, this is about the infrastructure of the country is not able to cope because there’s such huge numbers coming in.

“The biggest hit people are feeling is things around getting dentists’ appointments, doctors’ appointments, getting on the housing list. It’s ridiculous to say immigration is not impacting on these things, it has to.”

READ > General election: Full list of candidates standing in St Helens

Mr Webster said: “We have got to start educating our own kids to do jobs in our country, instead of stealing them from abroad.

“It doesn’t do developing countries any good when countries like ours go along and say ‘we’ll have that doctor, we’ll have those nurses.

"It destroys their health service in effect and then we end up giving foreign aid, we’re robbing Peter to pay Paul.

“It’s mathematic insanity, we’ve got redress that balance, let’s get more people here being trained to do jobs they want to do, and from that there needs to be a complete rehash of the education system.

“Let’s start developing children from a younger age, about 15, 16, through the system to do the job that they want to do.

"Let’s start with apprenticeships starting in school so when a kid gets to 16 and wants to do an apprenticeship they’re already part way there.”