Kinnock urges Labour to combat Reform's nationalism

Lord Kinnock
Lord Kinnock says if Labour win, they need to make "change which is positive and cumulative" [Getty Images]

Former Labour leader Neil Kinnock is urging his party to "combat the populist nationalism" of Nigel Farage’s Reform party in the final week of the election campaign.

The former Islwyn MP said Reform "harvests and plants lies" and tackling that "must start now".

Mr Farage has been facing accusations that Reform "attracts racists and extremists" but he has said support has been withdrawn from candidates who have made offensive comments.

Speaking to the Guardian, Lord Kinnock said if Labour win on Thursday, they need to make an impact with "change which is positive and cumulative".

Reform UK leader Mr Farage has been challenged over racist comments apparently made by one of the party's canvassers in undercover footage broadcast by Channel 4.

He said Reform have withdrawn support to candidates who made offensive comments, and in a TV debate on Friday he repeated his assertion that the footage broadcast by Channel 4 was a "set-up".

"You get people in all parties saying bad things and wrong things," he said during questions from a BBC Question Time audience, arguing it was partly the consequence of having to find candidates quickly.

Lord Kinnock - the Labour leader from 1983 to 1992 - told the Guardian "now" was the time for his party to start targeting Reform.

"We have to combat this populist nationalism with words and explaining to people what these people are not just who they are.

"People like Farage, love the personal attention, like all narcissists, so we have to focus on explaining what they are, and all that inconsistencies and falsehoods, they plant and harvest lies".

Lord Kinnock added: "The populist right have to be combated with actions that means the implementation of change which is positive and cumulative and driven by strong purpose in the service of community."

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Reform UK said: "Kinnock’s Labour Party have abandoned the people of Wales to the twin Gods of political correctness and the net zero agenda.

"Their government in Cardiff Bay has shown us their incompetence in government, running the Welsh NHS into the ground, applauding their own moral perfections while exporting jobs and lives from their own traditional heartlands."

Welsh Labour said: "Our volunteers and candidates are out campaigning every day to bring Labour's message of change to voters across Wales."

Speaking on Saturday for the Conservatives, Security Minister Tom Tugendhat said there was a "pattern of racist and misogynistic views" within Reform UK.

BBC Wales has approached Lord Kinnock for an interview.

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