Reform UK axes two candidates over racist remarks

Reform UK axes two candidates over racist remarks
Parliamentary candidates Jonathan Kay and Mick Greenhough were found making derogatory comments about Black people and Muslims.
3 min read
04 April, 2024
Richard Tice, leader of Reform UK at a press conference in Westminster, central London [Getty]

UK right-wing party Reform UK, founded by Nigel Farage, has suspended two additional candidates- following accusations of racial discrimination on social media. 

Anti-extremism campaign group Hope Not Hate issued a report on Wednesday which uncovered old posts by candidates Jonathan Kay and Mick Greenhough on social media platform X- in which they made derogatory comments on Black people and Muslims. 

Kay, who was standing for election in Lancashire’s South Ribble constituency, wrote a series of posts, where he outwardly made anti-Black and Islamophobic remarks. 

In a thread of posts that were published in 2019, Kay claimed the IQ levels of African people are "among the lowest in the world" and said Muslims should "never coexist with others". 

He also accused London mayor Sadiq Khan of being a "Muslim supremacist supporter". 

Greenhough, a Reform candidate for Orpington, was found having made a number of antisemitic and Islamophobic comments, as well as promoting the White Genocide conspiracy theory via his X account and pro-Brexit blog The Europrobe. 

Greenhough previously tweeted in 2019 that "Ashkenazi Jews are the problem" and recently in 2023, he claimed that the UK must "remove the Muslims from our territory". 

Condemning the latest revelations, Hope not Hate called for the immediate suspension of the pair and regarded them as "wildly unsuitable for public office". 

Kay and Greenhough were later removed from Reform UK's list of candidates on their website, following the publication of the group’s investigation. 

A spokesperson for the party additionally confirmed the decision to drop the duo, British news publication The Guardian reports

"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,"  a spokesperson told The Guardian

"Labour and Conservatives also have candidates that make statements that fall below acceptable standards, but we move faster than others in acting decisively."

Hope Not Hate similarly reported in a separate finding that Reform candidate for Swindon South Benjamin "Beau" Dade was claimed to have shared his far-right fantasies to deport "millions" of British citizens in order to “rid itself of the foreign plague we have been diseased with.” 

Reform has since dropped seven candidates altogether over comments on social media that also included Ginny Ball in Rutland and Stamford, Nick Davies in North Bedfordshire, David Carpin in Henley and Thame; and Roger Hoe in Beverley and Holderness. 

Scottish news outlet The Ferret additionally reported that Reform UK had suspended two candidates for the Scottish general election, Stephen McNamara and David McNabb, following their actions on social media.  

This included sharing posts by prominent far-right figures by the likes of Katie Hopkins, as well promoting anti-trans and racist rhetoric.