In a recent article by Nigel Farage for this paper, he stated that while London was thriving, places like Watford had been left behind, claiming that “unmanaged” and “exponential” population growth had put our hospitals, housing, schools and transport under pressure.

But London’s population has grown faster than the rest of the UK on average in recent years. The reason for the very real regional inequality in our country is the cuts to local councils, falling disproportionately on the poorest areas, and the effect of financialisation, empowering the city of London to attract capital from all over the world, while also attracting jobs and infrastructure.

But the money going into London isn’t put to use where our country needs it the most. It is instead hidden away in tax havens, or used to buy up property for speculation, property kept empty while homelessness continues to rise.

The solution isn’t to blame migrants for an economic crash caused by the financial sector. It’s to reverse austerity and properly invest in all regions of the country, while fighting tax avoidance and taking action to ensure that rents are affordable and the housing we need gets built. The Brexit Party doesn’t have a plan to do any of this.

While Nigel Farage has pledged to invest £200 billion in the regions, the money he claims he can raise from refusing to pay the money we owe to the EU (£39 billion), cancelling HS2 (potentially £88 billion, though not all of the money can be reclaimed), and reducing foreign aid (approximately £14 billion), won’t cover the cost of that investment. Nor does it take into account the investment we receive from the EU, or the cost of ignoring our international obligations. Either the ex-City broker hasn’t got his sums right, or he is not being forthright about where the money is coming from for this pledge.

Nigel Farage is a political grifter, stirring up division and proposing simplistic solutions to the problems Watford and many other parts of the country face. We don’t need his brand of rabble-rousing politics, in a town which can boast a proud record for diversity.

Alex Charlton

Momentum Watford, Three Rivers and Hertsmere