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Reform Parliamentary Candidate Who Shared Racist Content Resigns After Questions by Byline Times

Nick Davies shared a post featuring London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Adolf Hitler

Reform UK's Richard Tice and Lee Anderson
Reform UK Leader Richard Tice and defecting MP Lee Anderson during a press conference. Photo: SOPA Images Limited/Alamy

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Reform UK recently gained its first MP, former Conservative Deputy Chair Lee Anderson, who defected to the party after claiming that London Mayor Sadiq Khan had handed the city to “Islamists”.

Byline Times can reveal that several Reform prospective parliamentary candidates (PPC) have shared content on their social media accounts that is racialised, denies the existence of climate change, or promotes conspiracy theories.

While investigating the party, Reform confirmed to Byline Times that North Bedfordshire PPC Nick Davies had resigned as a candidate “after we spoke to him about the content of his social media”.

On 4 March, Davies shared a post which featured the text “evil doesn’t die. It reinvents itself” over pictures of Sadiq Khan and Adolf Hitler. Davies also shared posts in September and October calling immigrants an “invasion” and a “silent army housed in hotels”. 

In a statement to this newspaper, the party said: “Reform UK makes a distinction between malice and eccentricity in its activists and its supporters. Malice we take very seriously, harmless opinion is not a problem in a party that believes wholeheartedly in freedom of speech, nor should it be in the wider society.”

The recent tweets of Andrew Husband, the Reform PPC for North Durham, on X (formerly Twitter) include an account claiming that “mRNA shots are the most dangerous product ever forced upon the public” and former Conservative (now independent) MP Andrew Bridgen’s claim that the COVID vaccine will be considered “the greatest crime against humanity”.

He has also retweeted a video clip of US President Joe Biden talking about building regulations in relation to wildfire resilience and claimed that he had been referencing the roofs of houses that survived wildfires as evidence of the use of “direct energy weapons” to cause wildfires in Texas and Brazil. 

The ideology of the ‘freedom movement’, the post-lockdown outgrowth of the anti-lockdown movement that posits that reductions in living standards are orchestrated by the World Economic Forum (WEF) as part of a ‘Great Reset’, also appeared in material shared by several Reform candidates. 

The WEF is the annual gathering of politicians and the corporate executive class at Davos, which became the subject of conspiracy theories during the pandemic.

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Maggie Moriondo, the Reform PPC for Bedford, retweeted a post from Wide Awake Media, a conspiracy platform, which claimed that “globalists are using the man-made climate change” lie as a pretext to deliberately collapse the food supply, so people will have no choice but to eat insects and lab-grown “meat”.

She also retweeted a post from the same account claiming that broadcaster Neil Oliver “eloquently summarises the global pushback against globalist tyranny”, in relation to a speech he made in which he claimed that there is a “coordinated global conspiracy seeking domination of the world by a handful of ideologues, hellbent on a return to feudalism”. 

Dave Holland, the Reform PPC for Mid-Bedfordshire, wrote on his blog that Bill Gates and the WEF “want to reduce the population via the medium of vaccines”. The blog described the movement towards a dystopian future of lockdowns, spiralling inequality and restrictions on civil liberties, and attributed the driving force behind these outcomes to a coordinated effort between governments and corporations to create a “New World Order” overseen by the WEF.

The Reform Party’s manifesto rejects “the influence of the World Economic Forum” and contains a pledge to hold a public enquiry into vaccine harms and excess deaths. 

Several Reform PPCs were previously Conservative Party councillors or PPCs.

Dr Annie Kelly, a postdoctoral researcher on conspiracy theories and correspondent for the podcast QAnon Anonymous, told Byline Times that, although the Tory Party “has been quite good at message discipline and keeping this stuff under wraps for the time being… I can see a weakened Conservative Party, not in power, being much more malleable to forces like Reform.”

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Dr Kelly said that conspiracy theories of the kind promoted by some Reform PPCs often take “legitimate issues” and “point people past who is responsible towards much more shadowy nefarious enemies who can never be defeated”. 

She said that the ideology of the ‘freedom movement’ has broadened out beyond COVID denial into a “general denialism”.

Another theme across the posts of several Reform PPCs was the denial of the existence of climate change.

Several Reform PPCs have regularly referred to “the climate hoax” and shared content denying a link between human industrial activity and carbon emissions, as well as attacking American climatologist Michael Mann and the ‘hockey stick’ graph, which shows a rapid increase in global temperatures since the Industrial Revolution. 

On 6 March, Maggie Moriondo posted on X that “we are being fed BS [bullshit] on the climate hoax. We will be force fed a diet of man-made meat whilst elites enjoy the real thing” and reposted a tweet attacking the hockey stick graph as ‘junk science’”.

Reform PPC for Stockton North, John McDermottroe, shared posts on his Facebook page referring to the “climate hoax” and calling people who believe in climate change as being part of “a cult”. He also wrote a post claiming that the Earth’s temperature began to rise before increases in CO2, which he argued debunks climate models.

Reform PPC for Derby, Tim Prosser, also shared videos denying climate science including by former Fox News host Tucker Carlson. 

The Intercontinental Panel on Climate Change calls for a 48% reduction in emissions by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2050, a target that some scientists such as the Climate Change Advisory Group, say is “too little too late”. The Reform Party denies that climate change can be averted by reducing emissions and argues that net zero is “damaging our livelihoods and economy”. 


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Bob Ward, policy and communications director at the LSE’s Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, told Byline Times that “the material on the Reform UK website is demonstrably false and it’s not just the result of incompetence, it’s disinformation, it’s deliberate misinformation about climate impacts”.

He added that since the Uxbridge by-election, “British media, particularly the Telegraph, Mail and Sun titles and to some extent The Times, have all started championing misinformation about climate policy”.

“They largely haven’t gone down the route of promoting outright denial of the physics of climate change, but behind their claims is an implicit denial of the risks of climate change,” he added. “You can only say that delaying net zero is a desirable option if you don’t accept the scientists’ assessment of the scale of the problem.”

Ward said this has “allowed those with even more whacky views on climate to rear their heads again and start making ridiculous claims about the science”. 

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