Vote Leave martyr Darren Grimes has today launched a ‘new’ Tory youth movement called Reasoned, just in time to mount a last stand in defence of Dominic Cummings.
But Reasoned is not so new after all – it is in fact a reboot of a failed project to create a Tory Momentum called “Reason: Common Sense for the Common Good” that launched in 2018 and sputtered out after failing to capture the imagination of Britain’s youth.
Nor is the project much of a grassroots youth movement. Grimes, 26, has been dubbed “the Second Cummings” by top Tories who claim he aspires to be a protégé of the PM’s chief adviser. He only recently left the employment of the Institute for Economic Affairs, a free-market think tank most famous for a “cash-for-access” scandal.
Back in 2018 the project was being fronted by Chloe Westley, then a campaigns manager for the Taxpayers’ Alliance and now a special adviser to Boris Johnson in Number 10. Indeed, the Taxpayers’ Alliance rebadged at least one the project’s videos with its own logo.
The project also has links to Turning Point UK, a right-wing youth movement backed by Nigel Farage and supporters trafficking in hateful conspiracy theories. Facebook ads for Reason placed in 2018 are recorded as being paid for by “Your Channel Media”, a social media company owned and run by Turning Point UK’s chief executive Oliver Anisfeld.
With a pedigree like this, Reasoned is set to be the latest in a long tradition of Tory youth movements that leave the youth unmoved.