Second Reform candidate quits, accusing party of ‘racism and misogyny’

A second Reform UK candidate has quit the hard-right party, alleging that the vast majority of those standing for it in the general election are “racist, misogynistic and bigoted”.

Georgie David, who had been Reform’s candidate for West Ham and Beckton, issued a statement through the Conservatives, the party she is now backing.

David said she had been “significantly frustrated and dismayed” by what she said had been a failure of the party’s leadership to tackle problems with racism and prejudice in its ranks.

“I am in no doubt that the party and its senior leadership are not racist,” she said. “As the vast majority of candidates are indeed racist, misogynistic, and bigoted, I do not wish to be directly associated with people who hold such views that are so vastly opposing to my own and what I stand for.”

Her departure comes after Liam Booth-Isherwood, who was standing in the Erewash constituency in Derbyshire, switched his support to the Tories at the weekend, saying he had become increasingly disillusioned with the behaviour and conduct of others.

Reform UK’s chair, Richard Tice, suggested that the Conservatives had sought to infiltrate the party with fake candidates.

“Desperate toxic Tories sent us some Trojan horse candidates by offering jobs, safe council seats etc to spread lies,” he said on X.

The party said in a statement that it was “very disappointed” by the actions of David, who they described as a last-minute addition to its list of candidates. David appears to have been a replacement for a previous Reform UK candidate in the West Ham and Beckton constituency. Until earlier this year, Peter Monks had been the candidate before his name disappeared from the party’s website.

Reform added: “We strongly disagree with her sweeping comments about the ‘vast majority’ of our 600-plus candidates, the vast majority of whom she can never even have met.

“And we find it sad and strange that she chose not to bring up any of her concerns with the party leadership before publicly trashing so many of her blameless colleagues who are giving their all to get Reform UK elected.”

The Labour leader, Keir Starmer, said on Tuesday that rightwing populism was “a really serious issue” in the UK and across Europe, adding that part of the answer was to understand why people had “lost faith in politics”.

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“I think if you look at the last 14 years in this country, you can see why because Partygate – breaking the rules that were imposed on the rest of the country – was a real moment of [broken] trust with the electorate,” he said.

Reform UK has also faced pressure over its candidate in the Orkney and Shetland constituency after the Times alleged he had posted numerous insults about prominent women on social media. The posts by Robert Smith were said to include advocating for Nicola Sturgeon to be shot.

Reform’s chairman, Richard Tice, described such insults as “appalling”, but said: “Like anybody, we make some mistakes.”

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “Obviously appalling, absolutely appalling. But I’m very clear, we’re a new political party. We’ve been growing fast. Of course, like anybody, we make some mistakes. The thing is, we admit them and we move on and we change and we learn from them.”


Updated: Juli 2, 2024 — 12:22 pm

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