Meet Barry Edwards, the Reform UK candidate

6 mins read
Barry Edwards, Reform UK candidate - Credit: Barry Edwards

Barry Edwards is the Reform UK candidate in the Battersea constituency for the UK Parliamentary election on Thursday 4 July 2024.

To provide more information about the main candidates, we have partnered with the community website and invited them to answer our questions. We hope this will give you an opportunity to learn more about their concerns, proposals, and how they can assist Battersea residents.

Could you introduce yourself to our readers?

Hi, my name is Barry Edwards and I am a Management Consultant and Chartered Environmentalist.

Tell us something about you our readers may not know.

I am a BS EN ISO International Standards Lead Auditor, which means that I am a suitably qualified and experienced person to verify compliance within evidenced management systems

On your bio, you say that you run a business in the borough. What makes the Battersea constituency special for you?

I don’t run a business in Wandsworth Borough, but in its next-door neighbour the London Bough of Richmond upon Thames. What makes Battersea special for me is its relationship with the Thames Estuary, Battersea Park, Falcon Park, Heathbrook Park, Clapham Common and all the other wonderful small open spaces that make it such a Green constituency.

In the 2016 EU referendum, 70% of our constituency voted to remain, one of the highest in the country. There are still strong feelings about Brexit. On your website, you pledge to “work with [people], learn from them and represent their views, aspirations and requirements”. What do you have to offer to Battersea constituents in this context?

Now that we have secured our own sovereignty and Parliament has the final decision which decides the evolution of society, the environment and our economy, I am a sustainability expert with the training and expertise to ensure that these are balanced towards meeting the needs of Battersea, without compromising the needs of future generations. It was really a shame that there was so much propaganda on both sides and people unfortunately came to believed that the EU could make better decisions about the UK’s national interest than we could.

The cost of living is a real worry for many of our readers.  Since Labour took control in 2022, the Council has implemented the London Living Wage for its staff and contractors. Do you think it was a right move and what do you think is the best approach for the government to provide support?

I think that the London Living Wage is substantially short of what is sustainable. London is a very expensive place to live, with house prises and rents increasing year on year.

Reform will raise the personal tax allowance to £20,000 per annum, lifting huge numbers of young people, pensioners, and people on low incomes, in fact, taking 41% of Londoners out of being taxed altogether.

Reform will re-evaluate the living wage so that it is a realistic figure, in line with the real cost of living in the capital. Reform will reduce the competition for employment, therefore increasing the value of work, increasing wages for most people in Battersea.

With the busiest station at the heart of Battersea, public transport is used by the vast majority of people in the area. What would you like to see improved for that in Battersea?

I would like to see TfL have improved standards and that these are measured against accountable criteria. This is an essential and, in some cases, critical means of transportation and over the years standards have been falling and prices have been increasing.

We need a railway, tube and bus services that are clean, safe, at the appropriate frequency and on time. This has been sadly lacking and the leadership and management of this service, has simply not been there. Reform would do a full assessment and put in place, if necessary, an Act of Parliament to ensure these standards are met going forward.

Housing is also a local concern.  Recently we have seen some proposal for massive schemes exceeding local plan rules – which justify their scale on the grounds that they also affordable housing.  Where is the right balance between providing the social housing we need, and making sure that our urban environment remains one people want to live in?

The correct balance of society, environment and economics is to meet the needs of today, without compromising the needs of future generations. That balance can only be set by ensure that we use “air-space development” to meet the serge of demand force by increasing population and then move to a sensible protection of the critical spaces such and farmland, open-spaces and National parks, to ensure food security and biodiversity.

Air-space development is a process which build on existing properties to provide additional accommodation. If homeowners were allowed to develop above their existing homes, an extra storey, there would not be a housing shortage, or the need to build any more new houses. The homeowners could decide if this was right for them, their properties would go up in value and they could get a rent for these developments. This would be affordable reducing rent and young people would have somewhere to live without harming the environment.

You cannot just keep building houses, you will start to build on Green Belt, farmland, and our Parks, so this essential land uses should have Legislative protection, to guarantee food security. This would put family first, as the children of the property owner could then prioritise their own children to have a place of their own, or rent out the additional flat. This would also reduce social care as the children would be nearby if case of emergency and any other properties could offer this as rented accommodation.

You have a special interest in environmental issues and have said, “people should be on the side of the planet that provides all the things we need.” What are the most important measures the future government should commit to in order to address the climate emergency?

I wish everyone when they consider the future to make one simple calculation. It is all based on mathematics and the arithmetic is not that difficult. If you have a steady growing thing, of any type and a recognised rate over at finite period, say 1% per year, this would cause the item to double in size. This is called the doubling time. We are taking about ordinary steady growth. If you apply this to population, then a population growing at 1.4% per year would double in 60 years. This is what Battersea has to look forward to as it is growing at that rate.

If this is allowed to continue, then not only the population, but all services including the NHS, schools, housing sewage treatment water supply, energy and tolerance would all have to double to simply keep pace. If these support services did not increase then the level of service would halve. But you say the pie could grow in size, so everything doesn’t have to be shared. However, using current verified projection the economy is flat Zero % growth, yet the population is still growing at 1.4%. and even if the economy could grow at that rate, the only place where this huge need of extra space could come from would be to build on our parks.

Therefore, the single most dangerous thing to our prosperity is more people – More is Poor. This massive increase the population also affects the climate emergency because anthropomorphic climate change is caused by people and their consumption behaviours, and the more people the more carbon footprint, so More is also Climate Change. This might be poorly expressed as the immigration election, but as the only way that this population growth in the UK is growing is through immigration, therefore Over-Population is Immigration, so despite this awkwardness in terminology, it is absolutely accurate.

The situation in Gaza is a concern for many voters, and specifically in London where many have a strong view. As a former journalist with exposure in the Middle East, you have also a specific experience. What do you think should be the government’s position?

I have not been a journalist in the Middle East, but fully understand the situation and consequences of the Hamas War. The Governments position should be that it is entirely correct that Israel should be able to defend itself. What would we do in the UK, if the country was attacked 1200 people were killed and over 200 hostages were taken? We would defend ourselves, but what if the perpetrators were a recognised terrorist organisation that stated that it would do it again and would not be satisfied until our nation was destroyed? This would pose an existential threat to our entire way of life, this is the only way to see this conflict in Israel and act accordingly.

Israel is an ally and we must ensure democracy, the rule of law, individuality, tolerance and the respect for other faiths is maintained. Therefore, antisemitic behaviour should not be tolerated, all terrorist organisations should not be allowed to win and peace and mutual respect for both communities and cultures should be helped to return as soon as possible. However, this can only be achieved through the hostages being returned and the support for terrorists to be discouraged.

And finally – why should our readers vote for you?

Because Labour was in power for 14 years and crashed the economy, then the Tories did the exact same. LibDems have worked with both Labour and Tory and nothing got any better. As a professional Environmentalist I can state expertly that the Greens don’t understand sustainability and the SNP and Plaid Cymru are both raving Nationalist who shouldn’t be allowed to be in control of anything.

Given these fact the only reasonable therefore rational choice is to choose something else. None of the above. It just so happens that that change is Reform and this is not he short straw, it is the best straw as Reform has common sense and will balance society, environment and economics to find the good life for everyone no matter their nationality or culture. Britain needs Reform, Battersea needs Reform, as this will lead to a more sensible, realistic, sustainable Life for All.

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CJI editor and Clapham Junction Action Group co-founder and coordinator since 2008, Cyril has lived in Clapham Junction since 2001.
He is also funder and CEO of Habilis-Digital Ltd, a digital agency creating and managing websites and Internet solutions.


  1. Honestly if the Reform Party man really thinks population / immigration is the environmental issue driving climate change then there really is no hope. Human fertility is falling in many parts of the world – in fact in many countries there is a real fear of a demographic crash as more and more older people have to be supported by fewer and fewer young people.
    If he really is qualified in the environment then he will know that the truth is frighteningly simple.
    Solar energy arrives as short wavelength visible and ultraviolet radiation, and about 30% is reflected and radiated back into space at long infrared wavelengths. We have known since 1859 that greenhouse gases are less transparent to long than short wavelengths so rising GHG concentrations trap more energy, making warming inevitable, as we are already seeing in trends around the world, including increased flooding becoming normalised in the UK. The only solution is actually lifestyles much less dependent on fossil fuels and other GHG emitting activities. But no politician will ever say that we may have to make sacrifices.

    • I’m the Green Party candidate for Battersea and I say: we have to make sacrifices!

  2. I am not a politician, I am an academic and consultant standing for Parliament to offer my services to help the country, because it’s broken. I am suitably qualified and experienced person who does this as my day job, I just find the problems and fix them.

    Please consult this secondary source of information regarding population and resource dynamics. This is what experts have written to describe difficult judgements to balance society, environment and economics to meet the needs of today, without compromising the needs of future generations. But this may only be the start of the required reading, it is a good grounding, but we now have much more detailed primary research, that now goes even further, but this is a good start regards how to use this information correctly.

    It’s a comprehensive and a very factual read, removing opinions. Reading good research is the first thing to do, if you wish to understand these wicked environmental dilemmas. You cannot just stop using resources, because people need things and your suggestions would cause serious harm to most families.

    Issues in the UK are far to serious for silly bickering about Left and Right, it’s now about Right and Wrong. Please have a look at the facts, because they have no options.

  3. “Human fertility is falling in many parts of the world – in fact in many countries, there is a real fear of a demographic crash as more and more older people have to be supported by fewer and fewer young people.”
    Immigration is a big problem with immigrants having larger and larger families and the British people having fewer children. England will become a third-world country in a few years with a complete change of life old ways being destroyed! Probably too late already.

  4. Ron,
    Robin and Joe seem to be under the misconception that the number and size of carbon footprints do not impact the climate crisis. I have offered him some advice on reading material so he can research the subject for himself, as it’s crucial for all of us to understand this issue. I would strongly encourage everybody to look deeper, as factual understanding empowers us to make informed decisions.

    It’s important to correct the misconception that the size and number of carbon footprints don’t affect the climate crisis. In reality, we, as individuals, are the ‘anthropomorphic’ in climate change. This means that the climate crisis is directly linked to the number of people and the levels of Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) each one produces.

    It’s worth noting that Chartered Environmentalists have been aware of this for over 30 years. They have developed strategies to manage Society, Environment, and Economy, allowing us to meet our needs without regressing to the Stone Age. With the right knowledge and the appropriate use of resources, families can enjoy a high quality of life (QOL) without making significant sacrifices.

    We are in a time of transition to sustainability, and very well-meaning environmental opinions do not help the discussion if they are inconsistent with expert knowledge and today’s Environmental Best Practices (EBP).

  5. Honestly ….

    How on earth could anyone read the comment and conclude that it doesn’t recognise that number and size of carbon footprints do not impact the climate crisis? Climate change is driven by GHG concentrations in the atmosphere, whatever their source, as has been known for many years – the great Swedish physicist Svante Arrhenius published a paper in the 1890s (yes, you did read that date correctly) saying that we had to stop burning coal otherwise climate warming would occur.

    We are told “In fact, Chartered Environmentalists have known this for over 30 years and have worked out how to manage Society, Environment, and Economy so that we can meet the needs of today without going back to the Stone Age”. So why are all the metrics going in the wrong direction with emissions at record levels, and why is it estimated that the carbon budget to remain within 1.5 degrees will be exhausted within a decade? Over the last 100 years the global population has increased from just over 2 billion people to 8 billion today and per capita emissions have increased from 5.8 to 6.8 tonnes of CO2 equivalent (source – Our World in Data). If the answers have been worked out then when are we going to be told what they are and when is someone going to be honest enough to say that real sacrifices will be needed?

  6. Robin,
    On your first point and in your own words, “Honestly, if the Reform Party man really thinks population/immigration is the environmental issue driving climate change, then there really is no hope”. This is inaccurate, and I have correctly pointed out your “misconception that the number and size of carbon footprints do not impact the climate crisis”. Secondly, and in most cases, Chartered Environmentalists stay out of the discussion because the debate is ill-informed and quickly becomes toxic. Therefore, they are usually working behind the scenes to mitigate these issues. However, bad things happen because a few good people do nothing. So, hopefully, this intervention will bring the debate back to the facts, and a wider audience can be engaged. The answers are on the way if people have an open mind and can rise above being confrontational. I would be happy for this to move onto a positive conversation on the solution if there is some respect for environmental practitioners rather than dragging this down to political point scoring.

  7. Fair enough my first sentence, I was using hyperbole. I have a science degree (Oxbridge) and have been interested in these issues for about 25 years – a seminal moment was attending a lecture by Sir David King in about 2003 at LSE when he predicted that by the early 2020s climate change would manifest itself through increased desertification in sub-saharan Africa, wildfires in Australia and California and increased flooding in the UK – he pointed out that, even then the Thames Barrier was already being used more often than its design criteria had anticipated.

    All the evidence is that there will be major lifestyle impacts and I think it is up to politicians and aspiring politicians to tell that truth. You write “The answers are on the way … ” – well, what are they? Very clever people have been trying to find answers for about 20 years now, and all the metrics continue relentlessly in the wrong direction. History tells us that two things drive change on the scale needed – fear and sustained economic pressure. If we wait for the fear to kick in then almost certainly it will be too late and we will be past the point of no return. Economic pressure – well, it’s back to politics. Why don’t you campaign for a doubling Air Passenger Duty and activation of the Fuel Duty Escalator?

  8. Thank you for removing the rhetoric, but if I start to explain, please don’t jump down my throat again if you don’t understand it. That’s when “game-changing” books like Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment, explaining planetary dynamics, are so valuable because we can all discuss sustainability with accurate facts. Well, here goes, and this will not happen in “5 minutes”; so, it must be regarded as a 20-year sustainability strategy, but it is ultimately the answer to a better quality of life for people and the planet. I will give you a couple of solutions tonight, but I will revisit this tomorrow; otherwise, it will turn into an academic paper:

    National issues
    1) Cost-of-living crisis—”Buying British” will provide the same, if not better, conditions for food production and security than the previous regime under the control of the EU. This will reduce the cost of food by eliminating expensive transportation and its associated carbon footprint while improving soil productivity with an eye on the future.
    2) Taxation—Increase the personal tax allowance to £20,000 to exempt 41% of Londoners and a large proportion of the rest of the UK from tax.
    3) Employment—Value work and the workforce as a whole, offering more career opportunities through apprenticeships and job training (particularly for the NHS) and reducing the job competition from cheap migrant Labour to increase demand for home-grown talent.

    This immediately helps people overcome huge survival issues, such as having money in their pockets, food on the table, and a stable working future. If Labour were really concerned about working people, they would not have opposed these policies. Tomorrow, I will tackle thriving, considering Housing, the NHS, and Crime.

  9. I feel like starting with “honestly” again but I’ll resist!

    I’m not sure whether you are still talking about the climate or have shifted to politics. If the latter, then your points are fair enough though I don’t agree with them. But if we look at the climate then there is a completely different picture.

    1. Food security? Wheat production is falling in the UK (also in some European countries) because of climate change causing more intense rainfall. Soil quality and productivity are a growing issue. I agree with you about ‘food miles’ but self sufficiency in food is a long way off and receding.

    2. Taxation – well OK, but the ‘cost of living’ crisis will fade into insignificance if the climate gets out of control. Look at what has happened in Arroio do Meio in Brazil in the last couple of months following catastrophic rainfall in an important food growing region. Why not trigger the Fuel Duty Escalator and increase Air Passenger Duty to change peoples’ behaviour in carbon intensive activities?

    3. Migration has almost nothing to do with the climate because it’s a global issue. Where people live hardly matters – they still aspire to the same standard of living, and if anything live more carbon intensive lives to attain it in poorer countries.

  10. Robin.
    You are fixated on climate; this is not what being an Environmentalist is all about. The climate is one aspect of a very complicated world/life and is not representative of larger environmental issues. Sustainability, of which climate is a part, is based on the balance between society, environment and economics to meet the needs of today without compromising the needs of future generations. If you remain only seeing life through this narrow climatic debate lens, you will never understand sustainability. I thought you were going to open your mind to understanding the larger picture and the implications of each of us as individuals, but I think you are going to have to read the Ecoscience book I suggested before you become balanced within this knowledge. Happy reading and I am happy to re-engage to answer any questions you have after that.

  11. Actually this rather interests me as a debate, though it has little to do with the election. I do understand sustainability and the wider environmental issues, but focused on the climate here because it is a politically difficult subject which all the parties, not just yours, skirt around.

    There are three reasons I focus on the climate more generally – firstly it is a surrogate for wider environmental issues; secondly all the data are going, and continuing to go, relentlessly in the wrong direction; and finally because there is a very real risk, though if one is rigorous not a certainty, of tipping points beyond which change becomes irreversible. Just look at the Mediterranean – it’s a huge body of stagnant water (the Straits of Gibraltar is too narrow to be material) which acts as a reservoir, storing heat. And the data does show that for about the last 40 years every year it has warmed by a little more than the Atlantic and may already be past the point of no return because the heat is already stored and has nowhere else to go. The Mediterranean may actually end up being the first real climate crisis point, as first the islands and then north Africa and southern Europe get economically damaged and ultimately develop a non-viable environment.

    Over hundreds of millions of years nature has used evolution – natural selection, survival of the fittest, genetic mutations etc – to fit life forms to the available environment. Very recently we have decided that reversing that and fitting the environment to us is a much better plan. The result is that we are all (you, me, everyone else) taking part in a giant experiment – what could possibly go wrong?

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