Charity director to run as Brexit Party parliamentary candidate
Former charity director Matthew Patten has announced that he is running as a Brexit Party parliamentary candidate for Folkestone and Hythe. Patten has held roles in the charity sector for 15 years including as former chief executive of the Mayor’s Fund for London. He was elected as one of the Eurosceptic Brexit Party’s 29 MEPs in May, along with journalist Annunziata Rees-Mogg and former UKIP seat holder Jonathan Bullock. The MP now plans to unseat Conservative politician Damian Collins, who is chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee, at the next general election. Collins was opposed to Brexit prior to the 2016 referendum. In his constituency, more than 60 per cent voted to leave. Patten tweeted that he was proud to be standing as a candidate in the Kent constituency.
‘Trust is broken’
Patten was previously interim chief executive at children’s charity the Martin James Foundation, senior project consultant for BBC Children in Need and chief executive of cricket charity Lord’s Taverners. He was also chief executive of M&C Saatchi Sponsorship between 1997 and 2002.
In a YouTube video announcing his MEP candidacy earlier this year, Patten said: “For nearly 15 years I have worked for some of Britain’s leading charities, helping children and young people and families in some of our most challenging communities.
“We all share a burning desire to put trust back into our political system. The thing that we all really share is a deep sense that trust in British politics is being broken.
“I am standing for The Brexit Party because I want to change politics for good.”
Since entering the European Parliament, Patten has been appointed a member of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee, the Delegation for Relations with Iran and the Delegation to the EU-North Macedonia Joint Parliamentary Committee.