A LEADER of a political party which is predicted to shake up the forthcoming general election was in Cumbria this week to give a keynote speech.

Richard Tice, the leader of Reform UK, visited the North Lakes Hotel and Spa, Penrith to 'connect with supporters' and 'inspire political discourse within the local community'.

However, he would not confirm whether form Ukip leader Nigel Farage would be among the 600-plus candidates who will be standing for the party in the general election.

Speaking ahead of his speech, Mr Tice said he was pleased to visit the region, which knew well over previous years, and added: "Nigel is working out how he wants to help and contribute in the campaign.

"My view is the more help the better.

News and Star: Reform UK leader Richard Tice speaking in Penrith.Reform UK leader Richard Tice speaking in Penrith. (Image: LDR Service/Ian Duncan)

"He's probably, along with Boris Johnson, the most well-known politician and, as I say, it is a massive job to try and campaign everywhere so hopefully he will be able to help as much as possible.

"Whether he stands in a seat - that is for him to decide nearer the election."

He said it was a fantastic event in Penrith with well over 100 people attending.

He added: "We've got a lot to say, we've got a lot to talk about, because the country is in a terrible state, the country is broken, and we have got to work out how to fix it. That is what we are campaigning for."

News and Star: Mr Tice addresses the crowd at the Penrith eventMr Tice addresses the crowd at the Penrith event (Image: LDR Service/Ian Duncan)

Mr Tice said the popularity of his party was going up in the polls and 'heading north'.

"We are the party that everybody is talking about."

Matthew Moody, Reform UK's prospective parliamentary candidate for the Penrith and Solway constituency, said they had put a lot of work in to get the leader to Penrith and added: "It's absolutely fantastic to have Richard here.

"We've been trying to get hold of him for some time and his office have come through for us and we are very excited to have him here."

News and Star: Matthew Moody who is the prospective parliamentary candidate for Reform UK in the Penrith and Solway constituency.Matthew Moody who is the prospective parliamentary candidate for Reform UK in the Penrith and Solway constituency. (Image: LDR Service/Ian Duncan)

He said that, surprisingly, he was 'quite confident' at the prospect of a general election and added: "I was out in Wellingborough at the weekend canvassing for our local candidate, Ben Habib, who is running the by-election there, and the response was extremely encouraging.

"People seem to be fed up with the Tories and not necessarily convinced by Labour so we are feeling very confident, yes."

Reform UK is a political party which, according to the event press release, claims to be "dedicated to mobilizing change, promoting individual liberties, and restoring national sovereignty".