Reform leader warns members not to tweet after drinking following racist posts

Ten candidates so far have been dropped from the party over offensive online comments

Reform UK leader Richard Tice

The leader of Reform UK told candidates to avoid posting on social media after drinking alcohol, after a number of Reform candidates were removed from the party over racist tweets. 

Speaking at a press conference in London on Monday, Richard Tice warned candidates of the right-wing party about consuming alcohol on the weekend, and then proceeding to post on social media. 

His fears around “inappropriate” comments come after ten candidates so far have been dropped from the party over offensive online posts ranging from racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia and anti-semitism. 

Tice said to the conference: “We’re very clear to all our candidates – for heaven’s sake if you’re going to have a glass on a Friday night, then don’t use social media.

“It’s not sensible, if someone lets us down hereafter, then, frankly, if it is inappropriate, if it is unacceptable, then we’re going to part company.

“So you can have your freedom of speech, your freedom of expression, that doesn’t mean you have the right to represent Reform UK as a parliamentary candidate, because that’s our choice.”

The Reform leader compared the party’s vetting process to “an MOT” stating, “It’s valid the day you do it, but if the following Friday night someone has a glass or two too much and puts something out on social media they permanently regret, in a sense it never stops.”

The most recent two candidates to be dropped from the party were Jonathan Kay and Mick Greenhough, after being exposed by the campaign group Hope Not Hate for posting racist tweets

Kay was found to have made countless racist and Islamophobic statements about the intelligence of Muslim and African people, whilst Greenhough also made a number of Islamophobic and anti-Semitic comments and has embraced far-right rhetoric on his blog.

Georgina Laming, Director of Campaigns and Communications at Hope not Hate said: “Time and time again, Reform UK candidates are found to unashamedly support racist and far-right ideas.

“It is clear that Reform UK’s vetting process for candidates is non-existent. With so many candidates sharing these extreme views it’s hard to deny that Reform UK are a radical and far-right outfit.”

(Image credit: I7p0h8o0n9e0 – Creative Commons)

Hannah Davenport is news reporter at Left Foot Forward, focusing on trade unions and environmental issues

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