REFORM UK’s general election candidate for Dudley says ‘woke madness’ is dividing the UK and needs to be stopped.

Andrew Southall is hoping to oust the Conservatives with a message based around cutting immigration and ‘prizing Britain out of the hands of the woke, globalist establishment’. 

Mr Southall, aged 32 and from Gornal, believes his ardent support for Brexit and ‘common sense’ policies will not just take support from the Tories but also reach people who don’t usually vote for the election on July 4.

Mr Southall said: “It’s like the cancel culture where you can’t even debate an issue now without being scraped off the internet or they try to get you sacked from your job.”

The outspoken candidate believes Dudley needs economic growth which will create wealth to pay for more public services.

He said: “We need to cut regulation and taxes for the lower and middle class and get people into business to make their money stretch a bit further.”

“I call it the multiplier effect, high taxes are preventing people from setting up in business and employing people.

“Surely it would be better to pay less each but more overall and employ people who then pay tax. Our policy is to raise the tax threshold to £20,000.”

Mr Southall’s prescription for the NHS includes taking medical staff out of tax to cure industrial action, providing NHS patients with vouchers for treatment at private hospitals and improving pay and conditions to attract more students – which he says would solve staffing shortages in ‘two or three years’.

He is also a big critic of the drive towards net zero, he says a quarter of energy bills are charges for wind and solar projects which he describes as ‘intermittent sources of electricity’ that take a long time to pay for themselves. 

He said: “Private investment is propped up by taxpayer levies and the policy just doesn’t work, we are effectively putting a tax on the lowest paid.”

Mr Southall does not believe human activity is causing global warming and is happy to carry on burning fossil fuels and adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.

He said: “Maybe one day we can look at this but right now we have got to get the cost of living down, get global infrastructure moving again and make energy affordable.

“CO2 is plant food, it’s responsible for mass greening of the planet, without it we could be perilously close to mass plant extinction.” 

Reform UK takes a hard line on immigration and Mr Southall is in no doubt where he stands on the subject.

He said: “We have to look at immigration numbers coming into this country, net was about 700,000 last year, if we keep on like this we are going to get overloaded.

“We have to stop unnecessary immigration for now until we get our institutions and services under control.”