LONDON -- The Tea Party movement's recent electoral gains have gotten international attention, including in the mother country whose taxes inspired the first Tea Party -- the United Kingdom.
A new rebellion against big government and high taxes is resonating in Ye Olde England.
"Ideas around limited government, absolutely, there's lots of people in Britain who share those as well." says Matthew Sinclair of the Taxpayers' Alliance. The group -- formed in 2004, naturally calling for lower taxes -- is one of the largest in Britain with a Tea Party slant. It boasts some 60,000 supporters.
The group organized workshops this past fall with FreedomWorks and other American Tea Party support groups. "We're always trying to learn how to campaign better. We're always trying to learn if there are policy initiatives in the states which have succeeded," Sinclair explains.
Like the Tea Party in the U.S., there are many groups here vying for the label. From one strictly aimed at domestic politics, to another upset about tax money going to the European Union, and yet another nationalistic group upset about immigration
Daniel Finkelstein is the Executive Editor for the Times of London. "I think you may see in Britain what you've seen in the United States, which is a bit of a rebellion against the central party establishment that's fueled, to an extent, by issues."
With no real primary system, it's harder for U.K. Tea Partiers to storm the political barricades, but that hasn't held back Tory Member of Parliament Robert Halfon who has views of past Tea Party heroes around his home, like pictures of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and a Ronald Reagan watch on his wrist. A current favorite on his website is American Tea Party heroine Sarah Palin.
Halfon does admit the deficit-reducing cuts of the current Conservative government of Prime Minister David Cameron has stolen some of the British Tea Party's thunder, but knows the movement has legs.
"There's always more we can do, and we need to keep up the pressure," he says.
Tea Party advocates here admit some of the more "colorful" aspects of the American movement might not translate too well in staid England. Still, even without any "mama grizzlies," they say they can still leave their mark.