The pro-EU Renew party emerged from out of nowhere at the height of “Corbynmania,” pushing for a second Brexit referendum that led to the Labour leader’s demise. The intelligence backgrounds of Renew’s founders were kept under wraps – until now.
When Britain’s little-remembered Renew Party officially launched in the heart of Westminster in February of 2018, its founders addressed a room of mostly empty chairs. The party’s youthful and little-known co-founder, Chris Coghlan, announced a bold pro-EU agenda centered on forcing a second Brexit referendum.
Founded in the midst of a surge in popular support for the Labour Party under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn, Renew arrived on the electoral scene at a time when the British establishment feared a genuine left-wing takeover of 10 Downing Street. While its launch initially attracted mockery from the press, with The Sunday Times describing it as a “damp squib,” Renew eventually played a decisive but hitherto unacknowledged role in Corbyn’s downfall.
During the 2017 General Election, Corbyn won significant support on a manifesto endorsing Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union. But by 2019, a not insignificant component of the party’s platform was convening a second referendum on London’s EU membership, which set him and the party he led up for a historic defeat.