RICHARD Carr has announced he will be running to stand as an MP at this year’s general election

The property tycoon and chief executive of Fortitudo is to run as a candidate for Reform UK in Poole – in response to Tory ‘failings’. 

In an interview with the Echo, Mr Carr, 65, said he is known in the business world to ‘get things done’ and this is exactly what he is aiming to do should he be successful in the ballot. 

He said “virtually every service is broken” in the country and warned Britain is now at a crossroads where “common sense” is needed to fix things.

Bournemouth Echo: Richard Carr

But it is what Mr Carr felt was a lack of action or interest from existing MP Sir Robert Syms that made tipped him over the edge to run for parliament. 

“I have been constantly emailing Sir Robert Syms on issues for the past three years and most of them land on deaf ears – only occasionally he thought to reply.

Read more: Richard Carr interview: 'I have no plans to slow down at Fortitudo'

“There was no increase in defence spending in the last budget and no help for small businesses is also what really pushed me over the edge.  

“I believe the small businessman in this country is virtually ignored, even by the Conservative party, and I think that is absolutely and utterly ridiculous.  

“I've already said this numerous times, but we are perilously in danger with our level of defence spending at this present minute.” 

Bournemouth Echo: Reform leader Richard TiceReform leader Richard Tice

Bournemouth Echo: Nigel Farage (pictured in Winton for his show) is honorary president of ReformNigel Farage (pictured in Winton for his show) is honorary president of Reform (Image: Daily Echo)

Reform UK was originally the Brexit Party. Throughout 2021 and 2022, the right-wing party fared poorly in the polls. 

However, following the collapses of the Boris Johnson and Liz Truss administrations towards the end of 2022, things started to pick up. 

Pools show Reform’s position flickering between third and fourth biggest along, with the Lib Dems. 

Read more: Who are Reform UK? The party that could wipe out the Tories

“We need to reform the taxation system in this country, which Reform offer,” Mr Carr added.  

“We need to spend more on defence. We need to get immigration under control... it's virtually every single facet that you can think of needs to be looked at. 

When asked what the biggest issues the people of Poole are facing, Mr Carr said: “Un-swept streets, unkempt bins, unkept verges, graffiti everywhere, two town centres that are in virtual decline. 

“Poole once had a logo saying ‘Poole is a beautiful place’ - could you honestly say to me that it's a beautiful place? 

“I won’t take no for an answer from civil servants if I was to be successful. They will get things done and if someone brings something to my attention I will get it fixed.” 

Bournemouth Echo: Richard is CEO of Poole-based FortitudoRichard is CEO of Poole-based Fortitudo

He added: “I've always had a strong interest in politics, ever since I was a teenager and this is one of the things that perhaps I should have done earlier in life.  

“A lot of my friends have told me I should have done it earlier in life. 

“I strongly, strongly disagree with the direction of the Conservatives and I strongly disagree with a lot of what is going on in this country. 

“If you read the Reform website and you read the policies, they really do chime with me. And as far as I'm concerned, we are at a crossroads in this country and something has to be done. 

“Virtually every single service is broken; the country has got the highest level of taxation it's had since the Second World War and yet we haven't got enough money to spend on defence. 

“Something is seriously wrong and it needs addressing.” 

In the Poole constituency, Mr Carr will be up against Sir Robert for the Tories and Oliver Walters for the Lib Dems. Labour hasn’t announced a candidate.