Waltham Forest councillor defects from Tories

A veteran Conservative councillor from Waltham Forest has split from his former party and joined Reform UK, previously known as the Brexit Party.

Matt Davis, 59, has been nominated as a candidate for Chingford Green and is appealing to Tory voters who are “unhappy with the party” to give him one of their votes.

From 2002 to 2018, Matt balanced being a Conservative councillor with his work as manager for Welsh singer Bonnie Tyler, best known for her 1983 hit Total Eclipse of the Heart.

Describing himself as a “spokesman” for Reform UK locally, he described its policies as “economically conservative and socially liberal”, manifesting in low taxes and limited public spending.

If elected, he says his top priority would be to use his 16 years experience as a local politician to “protect” Chingford Green.

He explained: “I honestly believe the first role is to protect the area from negative things that the council have often wanted to do, like overdevelopment and traffic schemes that people don’t want.”

In his view, overdevelopment means “high rise and high density” buildings that he views as out of keeping with Chingford’s mostly low-rise homes.

He said: “I would like to appeal to all those who voted Conservative but are now unhappy with the party. If you can see differences between the current government’s priorities and New Labour, you’re doing better than me.

“Residents should consider giving one of their votes to me because I’m somebody who’s lived here for a long time. I understand how things work and how to get things done over and beyond anyone else.”

Despite his party’s penchant for separating and his belief that Chingford “would love” to join Epping Forest, Matt said he doesn’t want to fight for Chingford to leave Waltham Forest or London.

Other candidates in the Chingford Green ward are Rehana Ali-Rahman, Nathan Burns and Nigel Martin for Labour; Craig Bayne for the Green Party; Henry Boyle for the Liberal Democrats; and Mitchell Goldie, Sazimet Imre and Isa Kay for the Conservatives.


Josh Mellor

Local Democracy Reporter