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Farage claims ‘bad apples are gone’ from Reform UK amid racism row

30 Jun 2024 4 minute read
Reform UK leader Nigel Farage speaking to the media after the rally for his party at Birmingham’s NEC, while on the General Election campaign trail. Photo Matthew Cooper/PA Wire

Nigel Farage has insisted “the bad apples are gone” from Reform UK after facing accusations from across the political divide that he failed to show leadership over allegations of racism within the party.

Mr Farage said he would “never have them back” following the withdrawal of support for three candidates over the row that has engulfed the party over the final week of General Election campaigning.

Speaking at a Reform rally in Birmingham on Sunday, he also claimed that footage of a canvasser using a racial slur against Rishi Sunak had been used as a “smear campaign” against the party.

Campaigners for Reform in the Clacton seat Mr Farage hopes to win in Essex were recorded by an undercover journalist from Channel 4 making racist comments, including about the Prime Minister, who is of Indian descent.

Slur

The footage showed canvasser Andrew Parker using a slur about Mr Sunak and suggesting migrants arriving in the UK on small boats should be used as “target practice”.

Another activist described the Pride flag as “degenerate” and suggested members of the LGBT community are paedophiles.

Addressing an audience of thousands on Sunday, Mr Farage said: “Look, Reform is a new organisation. It’s a start-up and there were requests put out for candidates to stand.

“Have we had a few bad apples? We have, although to my knowledge nobody involved in an organised betting ring is standing for us, which is something.”

He added: “I have to say, the bad apples are gone. We’ll never have them back.”

Mr Farage has suggested that Mr Parker, who is an actor, was used as a “plant” by Channel 4 in their undercover investigation into his campaign – a claim the broadcaster strenuously denies.

Mr Parker has told the PA news agency that his acting work is separate from his volunteering for Reform UK, which he said he started doing of his own volition because he believed in the party’s message.

He has apologised for the remarks, which he said he was “goaded” into making.

Meanwhile, Reform has confirmed it has dropped support for candidates Leslie Lilley in Southend East and Rochford; Edward Oakenfull in Derbyshire Dales; and Robert Lomas in Barnsley North.

Disgust

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said he shared Mr Sunak’s “disgust” at the use of the slur, which the Prime Minister has condemned as “vile” and “racist”.

Channel 4 hit back at the claims Mr Parker was a paid actor, with a spokesperson for the broadcaster saying: “We met Mr Parker for the first time at Reform UK party headquarters, where he was a Reform party canvasser.”

Mr Farage also claimed the audience on BBC’s Question Time on Friday, during which he was questioned about his party’s supporters, “was rigged”, which the BBC denies.

Addressing supporters at Sunday’s rally, the Reform leader said his party would campaign to abolish the TV licence fee as “the leading voice of opposition” because it had “abused its position of power.”

“I say that because the Conservative Party will be in opposition but they won’t be the Opposition because they disagree with each other on virtually everything – think about it, the last four years all we’ve had are internal Tory wars,” he told the crowd.

“They stand for nothing. I was told they were a broad church. Well they’re a broad church without any religion.

“It simply doesn’t work. So we will again renew our campaign with added vigour to say that the state broadcaster has abused its position of power and we will campaign for the abolition of the BBC licence fee.”

In response to applause from the audience, Mr Farage said: “Wow, that’s popular. You like that don’t you? You like that don’t you?”

Attacks

He launched direct attacks against both Mr Sunak and Sir Keir, branding the Prime Minister “slippery Sunak, the biggest spinner since Blair” and saying the Labour leader had “the charisma of a damp rag”.

Earlier on Sunday, Mr Farage denied “fanning the flames of prejudice” during an appearance on Sky News.

He also suggested that people who had been attracted by the British National Party (BNP) would gravitate in the direction of his party because they no longer had a home to go to.

“Ironically, destroying the BNP means people who are minded that way don’t any longer have a home to go to, and so some will gravitate in our direction and (when) we find out who they are they’ll be gone.”


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Mawkernewek
Mawkernewek
17 days ago

If BBC Question Time is rigged in any way as regards Nigel Farage, it’s in his favour in QTs selection of guests.

Sneb yn gwbod.
Sneb yn gwbod.
17 days ago
Reply to  Mawkernewek

Defund the BBC an independent Wales will have no need of it and Plaid Llywodraeth would not impose su h a poll tax on the people.

Erisian
Erisian
17 days ago

Until the next Reform Candidate opens his mouth…
Tice & Farargo have failed ‘due dilligence’ entirely in their desperate dash to find candidates to stand.
I am sure there will be plenty more horrible revelations from Social Media between now and the election.

karl
karl
17 days ago

Yet he is still talking. The worst bad apples are him and Tice. Subtle racists and bigots and extreme hypocrites. Guess there folowers can be as subtle with their hate. He ideally wants the sort of weird freedom of speech as the U.S. has that is awful and hate filled.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
17 days ago

Bad apples…Jo Cox…a poster full of lies…the leader of the pack…dirty money…

Adrian
Adrian
17 days ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

…and what has Labour had to say about Batley Grammar, grooming gangs, David Amess? Oh yeah, nothing!

Gareth
Gareth
17 days ago

So, people who were attracted to the BNP now ” gravitate ” to Reform, I wonder why, could it have something to do with both having a similar agenda?

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
17 days ago

When you still have a barrel containing over 600 apples, can you be sure that there are no more rotten ones in there?

Les Cargot
Les Cargot
17 days ago

“The bad apples have gone”. But you and Dickie are still there Nige!

Richard Davies
Richard Davies
17 days ago

But it isn’t a case of a few bad apples. There are orchards full of despicable candidates standing for various political parties. The only solution is a chainsaw, to cut down the disease then replace with something far better!

John Ellis
John Ellis
17 days ago

Nigel Farage has insisted “the bad apples are gone” from Reform UK …’

No, they haven’t, because he’s still there. Even worse, he’s now back heading the scam.

Garycymru
Garycymru
16 days ago

Nigel Farage is a bright shining example of why Wales and Scotland should back away from the UK.
These awful, weak racists are how people who dont know better, view the UK. I think Wales can do better than to be associated with their types on the world stage.

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