Change UK’s Nottingham rally had to move to a bigger room on Monday 6 May after an unexpected high attendance at the Crowne Plaza.
Former Labour-turned-Change UK MP for Nottingham East, Chris Leslie, ushered the 200+ crowd into a larger space, helping quickly lay down a stage as the newly-formed party campaigned to win Nottingham voters in this month’s EU elections and for remaining in the EU.
People of Nottingham listened to Change UK’s EU election candidates and MPs make their views clear on a confirmatory vote for the British public.
The party presented itself to appeal to disillusioned Labour and Tory voters who feel they have been left behind by these two parties in the Brexit process and tired of a two-party political system.
Chris Leslie introduced the rally stating his amazement at the numbers attending and described the occasion as very “rare”.
He said: “You don’t really need me to explain why we are here today. We decided enough was enough.
“Never in British politics have more than one party come together like this. They have landed us in a mess when it comes to Brexit.”
The Nottingham MP added the party’s “rough and ready” approach would not let the likes of Nigel Farage lead Britain’s representation in European Parliament and risk “long term issues being ignored”.
“We have to have a People’s Vote and we will campaign to remain in the European Union.”
Anna Soubry, former Conservative now Independent Group MP for Broxtowe also attended the event, referring to Brexit as “a terrible mistake”.
She added: “We now know fears and prejudices were played upon. We now know about the dodgy money and the foreign bots that influenced our great democracy on a scale never seen before.”
“The thing that is overwhelmingly the case is that people are changing their minds [about Brexit].”
MEP Candidate for the East Midlands, Joan Laplana, a nurse based in East Midlands, spoke of the pain the Brexit process has brought him.
He said: “This is my home, and nobody can tell me ‘go home’. But my life has been turned upside down since Brexit.
“Migrants like me have been accused of ruining the NHS, but it’s migrants like me who keep the NHS going.
“I want this country to be the place it was when I came here in 2000. I no longer feel welcome and valued by this government.
“If we want the NHS to survive another 75 years then it is time to vote for our NHS. It’s time to vote for Change UK.”
Another East Midlands MEP candidate, Narinder Sharma said: “May and her government have not been able to bring round a deal because it cannot be done without harming the country.”
Chris Leslie ended the event emphasising how the party would live up to its name and bring change to UK politics by “acting collectively on issues based on evidence, not ideology.”
The event ended with a walk down to the Brian Clough Statue, where leaflets were handed out and banners bearing the parties black and white colours.