Reform UK election candidate ditched from Lancashire constituency over ‘racist comments’

Reform UK has dropped its parliamentary candidate for the South Ribble constituency at the next general election after accusations by a campaign group that he made racist comments on social media.
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Hope Not Hate highlighted tweets by Jonathan Kay in which he made derogatory remarks about Muslims and black people.

The organisation said it had found posts from Mr. Kay on the website now known as X in which he said Muslims should be deported as they “never coexist with others” .

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The group also quoted a tweet about the intelligence of people from Africa, in which he claimed of their IQ: “Africans and sub-Saharan Africans are among the lowest in the world and below 85 the U.S. Army are not allowed to recruit you. The average African IQ is 75.”

South Ribble's Reform UK candidate has been dropped by the party ahead of the general electionSouth Ribble's Reform UK candidate has been dropped by the party ahead of the general election
South Ribble's Reform UK candidate has been dropped by the party ahead of the general election

Posting on X on Wednesday evening in response to a supportive comment denouncing his “awful” treatment at the hands of Reform UK, Mr. Kay said:

“I have yet to speak to anybody at Reform as to why. I would obviously prefer to do that before making any further comment, except to say, I have always found the people at Reform, decent, highly principled and wanting the best for our country.”

Reform also announced it had ditched another of its candidates at the same time as Jonathan Kay.

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Mick Greenhough, who was standing for the party in Orpington, tweeted in 2023 that "the only solution" was to "remove the Muslims from our territory" and in 2019 said Ashkenazi Jews were a "problem" and had "caused the world massive misery".

Hope Not Hate, which campaigns against the far right, said the pair were "wildly unsuitable for public office" and derided the party’s vetting process for candidates as “non-existent”.

Both men were removed as Reform candidates on Wednesday, following the publication of Hope Not Hate's findings.

A spokesman for the party said: "Reform has removed our candidates for Orpington and South Ribble.

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"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 decision means Reform have now dropped seven candidates for the upcoming election following complaints about their comments on social media.

Benjamin "Beau" Dade was ditched as candidate for Swindon South following a similar investigation by Hope Not Hate; while Ginny Ball in Rutland and Stamford; Nick Davies in North East Bedfordshire; David Carpin in Henley and Thame; and Roger Hoe in Beverley and Holderness, have all been sacked for comments made on social media.

The party has also drawn criticism over some of its other candidates, including a convicted animal abuser and a fortune-teller who sold spells for £200 on the OnlyFans website.

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