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Scots former BBC presenter Gavin Esler to stand for Change UK in European elections

© Finnbarr Webster/Getty ImagesGavin Esler at the campaign launch
Gavin Esler at the campaign launch

Former BBC presenter and journalist Gavin Esler is to stand for the newly formed Change UK party at the European Parliamentary elections.

The Scot, who will contest the London seat, announced his candidacy as the party launched its campaign.

Esler, who fronted Newsnight from 2002 to 2014, labelled the UK political system a “worldwide joke”, adding “they are laughing at us.”

He called for a People’s Vote to stop Brexit, saying he was joining the “Remain alliance” as part of Change UK.

“We know Britain is better than the brain-dead politics of the past,” he said. “We know Change UK is the only all-UK party to bring about changes.

“Ask yourself, what time is it? It is time for a change – it is time for Change UK.”

The party, formerly known as The Independent Group,  formed from breakaway members of the Conservatives and Labour earlier this year.

Another candidate is Rachel Johnson, the sister of ardent Brexiter Boris Johnson.

Interim leader Heidi Allen said at the launch: “These elections are a chance to send the clearest possible message – we demand a People’s Vote and the right to campaign to remain in the European Union. We are not afraid to say it as clearly as that.

“This is no rebel alliance. This is the home of the Remain alliance.”