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Charles Hansard will represent Reform in new Taunton and Wellington seat

REFORM UK has selected its candidate for Taunton and Wellington, ahead of the next general election.

Charles Hansard, 59, will represent the party, having previously stood for the Conservatives.

In 2001, he challenged the Bristol North West seat, but finished second behind the Labour incumbent, Doug Naysmith.

A veteran, he spent 12 years in the armed forces before earning a bachelor’s degree in environmental management and a further education diploma in accounting.

Since then, he has enjoyed a career in the energy industry for nearly 25 years.

Although committed to finding carbon-reducing energy solutions, Mr Hansard is not convinced electrical vehicles are the way to go, and believes effort should be put into making fossil fuels more environmentally efficient.

The 59-year-old is director of a company that sells diesel fuel pumps.

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In a Linkedin post, he said: “We are too quick to change our cars for the next technical revolution.

“We need to change this approach and provide a whole life cycle analysis and impact assessment to cars from cradle to grave.

“This should include the energy source for both construction and operation.

“We would then know exactly what our impact is on the environment and not get away with greenwashing.”

The latest figures from polling website, Electoral Calculus, give Lib Dem candidate Gideon Amos a 73% chance of winning.

Incumbent Conservative, Rebecca Pow, is given a measly 17% chance.

She is a junior minister for nature; Mr Hansard’s strong environmental opinions could be particularly dangerous with Reform on track to split the Tory vote.

The candidate has offered vocal support to his son, who set up right-wing news website The City Investor.

It describes itself as “Anti-migration, Anti-woke, Anti-leftism” and “entirely based on opinion.”

‘The editor’ of City Investor supports Reform because it takes a “laissez-faire” approach to the economy, unlike the Conservatives who have become a “Labour substitute”.

 

Charles Hansard and Rebecca Pow have both been approached for a comment.

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