The Reform Party has announced further General Election candidates in North and East Yorkshire.

Former Bridlington Conservative Councillor Maria Bowtell is to stand for the party in Bridlington and the Wolds, a huge rural seat that stretches towards Stamford Bridge and Pocklington.

David Bowes, who has had a career in the pharmaceutical industry, is standing for Reform in Scarborough and Whitby, which since 2005 has been represented by Conservative Sir Robert Goodwill, who is standing down.

The move comes as Reform has been creeping up in the polls, to 16% nationally in one, and reportedly beating the Tories in the ‘North’, though current polling has Labour taking Scarborough and Whitby, with one pollster predicting a Labour gain in Bridlington, another a narrow Tory hold.


Reform is predicted to come third in both seats, beating the Lib Dems and the Greens.

Cllr Bowtell, 34, was born and raised in the town, working as a quality control manager in the crab and lobster industry. She is a member of East Riding Council and announced her defection a month ago, citing Tory failures to “stop the boats”.

The mum-of-one also supports Reform’s policy for the first £20,000 of income to be tax free, saying it will mean much to many in the constituency which has many low-paid jobs in tourism and hospitality, also helping some get into work.

The NHS, she continues, needs reform, along with the electoral system adopting proportional representation.

Already she is campaigning and organising Reform events in the constituency.

Whilst leading Conservatives say a vote for Reform is a Vote for Labour, Cllr Bowtell responds a vote for the Tories is a vote for Labour. Many former Tories, like herself, are moving over to supporting Reform, because they are the conservative party, which the Tories no longer are, she added.

York Press: David Bowes, Reform UK candidate for Scarborough and Whitby

Scarborough and Whitby candidate David Bowes agrees, saying to stop Labour, the Tories should “return the favour” and stand down candidates as the Brexit Party did in 2019 to help ‘get Brexit Done.’

If they did so, “we can control and win the Red Wall,” he said.

Mr Bowes says he is not “a traditional politician” and is standing for Reform due to the ‘trajectory’ the country has taken since 1997.

Labour and Tories are like Tweededum and Tweedledee, whereas he supports low tax, with a £20,000 tax free threshold, stopping the boats and zero net migration.

Already he has been out campaigning, delivering 6,000 of 45,000 leaflets so far and organising events attracting 40-50 Reform supporters.

The other candidates for Scarborough and Whitby are Annette Hudspeth (Green), Alison Hume (Labour), Asa Jones (Social Justice Party), Mitchell Scollen (SDP) and Roberto Weedon-Sanz (Conservative).

The other candidates for Bridlington and the Wolds  are Charlie Dewhirst (Conservative), Linda Johnson (Liberal Democrat) and Gill Leek (Green). Labour has yet to announce a candidate.