Reform UK drops two more candidates over racist comments

Reform UK has dropped two more parliamentary candidates after accusations they made racist comments on social media.

Campaign group Hope Not Hate found tweets by candidates Jonathan Kay and Mick Greenhough in which they made derogatory comments about Muslims and black people.

Mr Kay, who was standing for election in South Ribble, tweeted in 2019 that Muslims “never coexist with others” and should be deported, and claimed Africans had IQs “among the lowest in the world”.

Mr Greenhough, who was the Reform candidate 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”.

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.

“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 ditched seven candidates for the upcoming election following complaints about their comments on social media.

Benjamin “Beau” Dade was dropped 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.