Reform UK 2024 election 'contract': fact checked

14 June 2024

On 17 June Reform UK published its 2024 ‘contract’—essentially, the party’s manifesto, though it argues the term ‘manifesto’ has been devalued. 

We’ve fact checked a number of claims from the contract and its launch event, and are continuing to do so. (We will update this round-up in due course.)

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NHS waiting lists

Reform UK’s contract points to “record NHS waiting lists”.

Assuming this relates to ‘referral to treatment’ data for England, which is what most people mean when they talk about ‘waiting lists’, this could do with some more context.

As set out in our waiting lists explainer, NHS England waiting lists peaked at around 7.77 million cases in September 2023 and have fallen slightly, but remain high at 7.57 million in April.

It’s also worth noting waiting lists have risen from 7.21 million since Rishi Sunak pledged to cut them in January 2023.

Full Fact’s AI tools helped identify this claim.

Labour’s immigration policy

Speaking at the contract’s launch, Reform UK leader and candidate for the seat of Clacton Nigel Farage said Labour “launched their manifesto with their six key priorities, not even mentioning immigration”.

The word “immigration” isn’t in Labour’s six ‘first steps for change’, but the third step pledges to “Launch a Border Security Command”.

Labour has also set out “five national missions”, none of which are related to immigration. 

GDP per head

Mr Farage also said “we have now seen six consecutive quarters of GDP per head falling”.

Office for National Statistics figures show that GDP per head rose in the first quarter of 2024, but fell for seven consecutive quarters before that. 


Reform UK’s contract also says the party would require police officers to “complete a 2-year probationary period”.

Police officers already have a probation period of at least two years, so it’s not clear what would change under the party’s proposals. 

For those joining through the traditional entry route or the degree holder route, probation lasts two years. For those joining through the police constable apprenticeship, probation lasts for three years. 

We’ve asked Reform UK about this and will update this article if we hear back.


The contract also claims there’s “record crime”.

Crimes recorded by the police have increased sharply in recent years, but the Office for National Statistics (ONS) says this isn’t the best data to understand overall trends—it’s affected by changes in levels of reporting to the police and police recording practices. 

The ONS says the Crime Survey of England and Wales is a better indicator of long-term trends, and it shows crime peaked in the mid-1990s and has been falling ever since. 

We wrote about this in 2022. 

Postal voting

The Reform party manifesto claimed “postal voting has allowed electoral fraud”. 

There is some evidence for this in the past, but according to the Electoral Commission, the independent body that oversees elections in the UK, “in the past five years, there is no evidence of large-scale electoral fraud”.

In 2005 a judge ordered local elections in Birmingham to be re-run after upholding allegations of widespread postal voting fraud. 

In 2016 Sir Eric Pickles led an independent review into electoral fraud, prompted in part by the 2014 mayoral election in Tower Hamlets being declared void. The review made a number of recommendations, including a clamp down on postal vote ‘harvesting’ by political activists. The rules on this were subsequently changed by the 2022 Elections Act.

Electoral Commission figures show that of the 1,462 cases of alleged electoral fraud (not just postal voting fraud) reported to police between 2019 and 2023, 11 led to convictions and the police issued four cautions. Most cases either resulted in the police taking no further action or were “locally resolved” by the police issuing words of advice.

There were six allegations of personation (where someone pretends to be someone else to use their vote) relating to postal votes in 2023. Five saw no further action and one was locally resolved

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