Tory leadership: Contenders clash over Brexit|By Justin ParkinsonBBC News//
“I want to stop Brexit. Fix Britain. And then I want to reform the things that are wrong with the EU,” says Gavin Esler. He has a lot on.
The 66-year-old former BBC Newsnight presenter is standing to be an MEP in London for Change UK – the new pro-Remain party formed by The Independent Group of ex-Labour and Tory MPs.
Esler is speaking to HuffPost UK less than 48-hours after he was unveiled as an election candidate at his new party’s campaign launch in Bristol. “It’s all a bit hazy,” he laughs at the whirlwind.
“We are trying to get up an organisation. We are trying to get each other’s telephone numbers and emails. And we have four weeks until the election.”
The party has had a rocky introduction to electoral politics, with several of its candidates being exposed for making offensive comments online. One stepped down after it was revealed he once said “black women scare me”. Not ideal for a party that brands itself as the sensible centre. Heidi Allen, the interim leader, has admitted its vetting process was “not good enough”.