Nigel Farage 'dismayed' after Reform activist filmed making 'appalling' slurs

Nigel Farage says he is "dismayed" after a Reform UK campaigner was filmed saying the Army should "just shoot" migrants crossing the Channel.

Party activist Andrew Parker was captured by an undercover Channel 4 reporter posing as a fellow canvasser in Clacton, Essex, where leader Mr Farage is a candidate.

Mr Parker also used a racial slur to describe Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. Another activist in the report referred to an LGBT Pride flag on a police car as "degenerate".

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The report shows Mr Parker discussing migrants arriving in small boats in Deal, Kent on the campaign trail.

He says: "Army recruitment - get the young recruits there, with guns, on the f****** beach, target practice. F****** just shoot them."

He also describes Islam as a "disgusting cult".

Asked about the clip on Thursday, Mr Farage said the comments amounted to "some pretty unpleasant things… very prejudiced, very wrong".

"Mr Parker would not be welcome back," he added.

In a statement to Channel 4, Mr Farage said: "I am dismayed by the reported comments of a handful of people associated with my local campaign, particularly those who are volunteers. They will no longer be with the campaign.

"The appalling sentiments expressed by some in these exchanges bear no relation to my own views, those of the vast majority of our supporters or Reform UK policy. Some of the language used was reprehensible."

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Mr Parker said that "neither Nigel Farage personally nor the Reform party are aware of my personal views on immigration".

In a statement he said he would "like to apologise profusely to Nigel Farage and the Reform Party if my personal views have reflected badly on them and brought them into disrepute as this was not my intention".

Mr Parker said he chose to campaign with Reform as he sees them as the "only party that offer a practical solution to the illegal immigration problem".

Mr Farage said on Thursday that he was simply "someone who turned up to help" and "has nothing to do with the party".

Labour candidate for Clacton Jovan Owusu-Nepaul commented on X: "These views do not represent the many wonderful people I have met throughout this election campaign in Clacton. We will keep putting forward a positive and inclusive message for change."

Earlier, Sir Keir Starmer said Labour is "not backing down in Clacton" after The Guardian reported Mr Owusu-Nepaul had been moved to campaign in the West Midlands instead.

The newspaper claims Mr Owusu-Nepaul's social media posts were getting more traction than Sir Keir's.

But the Labour leader said: "We are fighting everywhere, including in Clacton. We want to take the fight to the Tories and Reform wherever they are."

The other candidates in Clacton are:

Matthew Bensilum, Liberal Democrat

Craig Jamieson, Climate Party

Tony Mack, independent

Natasha Oben, Green Party

Tasos Papanastasiou, Heritage Party

Andrew Pemberton, UK Independence Party

Giles Watling, Conservative