• Thursday, May 23, 2024

HEADLINE STORY

Reform UK drops two more candidates over racist comments on social media

Reform UK is a right-wing populist political party in the United Kingdom, founded in November 2018.

The decision means Reform has now removed seven candidates for the upcoming election following complaints about their comments on social media. (Photo credit: Getty Images)

By: Vivek Mishra

Reform UK has removed two more parliamentary candidates from their roster amidst allegations of racist remarks on social media.

Campaign group Hope Not Hate uncovered tweets by Jonathan Kay and Mick Greenhough, where derogatory comments were made about Muslims and black individuals.

Reform UK is a right-wing populist political party in the United Kingdom, founded in November 2018 by Catherine Blaiklock with the support of Nigel Farage.

Kay, running in South Ribble, tweeted in 2019 suggesting Muslims should be deported, and claimed Africans had low IQs, reported The Guardian.

Greenhough, the Reform candidate in Orpington, tweeted in 2023 advocating for the removal of Muslims from the territory, and in 2019 made disparaging remarks about Ashkenazi Jews.

Hope Not Hate criticised the candidates as unfit for public office.

Both men were ousted as Reform candidates on Wednesday, following the release of Hope Not Hate’s findings.

The party’s spokesperson said they are committed to freedom of speech but will act swiftly when statements fall below their standards.

“We want to make it crystal clear that while we defend our candidates’ right to freedom of speech vigorously, we act fast when we find that individuals’ statements fall beneath our standards. Labour and Conservatives also have candidates that make statements that fall below acceptable standards, but we move faster than others in acting decisively,” the spokesperson said.

The decision means Reform has now removed seven candidates for the upcoming election following complaints about their comments on social media.

Reform has now axed seven candidates for the upcoming election over social media comments. Other ousted candidates include Benjamin “Beau” Dade in South Swindon, Ginny Ball in Rutland and Stamford, Nick Davies in North Bedfordshire, David Carpin in Henley and Thame, and Roger Hoe in Beverley and Holderness.

The party has also faced backlash for fielding candidates with controversial backgrounds, including a convicted animal abuser and a fortune teller selling spells on the OnlyFans website for £200, reported The Guardian.

Reform rails against immigration, net-zero energy policies and what it calls overbearing “nanny state” government regulations, and its members regularly heap praise on former US president Donald Trump.

The party earlier this year pledged to bring down the “toxic Tories”, saying it would do no deals with the governing Conservatives who fear Reform could draw votes from some of their traditional supporters, reported Reuters.

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is yet to announce the date of the general elections, but has said it will be held in the second half of the year.

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