Free from fear or favour
No tracking. No cookies

Reform UK Candidate Accused of Posting ‘Vile Racist and Hateful’ Tweets and Sharing Posts From Far-Right Leaders

Andrew Raw, the Reform UK candidate for Darlington, is the latest member of the party to be criticised for his social media posts

Leader of Reform UK, Richard Tice is seen speaking as a press conference in Victoria, Central London. Photo: Joshua bratt / Alamy
Leader of Reform UK, Richard Tice seen speaking at a press conference in London in January. Photo: Joshua Bratt/Alamy

Don’t miss a story

Sign up to the Behind the Headlines newsletter (and get a free copy of Byline Times in the post)

A Reform UK candidate has been accused of sharing “extreme racism and hateful ideology” online – in what has become a regular occurrence for the party that insists it is not far-right.

Since gaining its first MP, following Lee Anderson’s defection from the Conservative Party in March, Reform has remained in the headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Later that month, North Bedfordshire PPC Nick Davies resigned as a candidate after his party “spoke to him about the content of his social media”, following questions raised by Byline Times about the social media activity of several of Reform’s prospective parliamentary candidates.

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

Byline Times also exposed other posts by candidates – Andrew Husband, the Reform PPC for North Durham; and Maggie Moriondo, the Reform PPC for Bedford – which were racialised, denied the existence of climate change, and promoted conspiracy theories.

Andrew Raw, the Reform UK candidate for Darlington, is now being criticised for sharing and liking content from figures on Britain’s far-right such as Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (‘Tommy Robinson’), the leaders of Britain First, and Jayda Fransen the Leader of the British Freedom Party.

Raw posts under the handle Andyraw6 on X (formerly Twitter), but uses a glum-looking picture of Tony Soprano as his profile picture. He has 67 followers. A source, who knows the father-of-two, confirmed to Byline Times that it was Raw’s account. The account supports Reform UK and is followed by accounts from Darlington.

On X, Raw invoked the ‘Great Replacement’ conspiracy theory in response to a tweet from Nigel Farage, in which the Reform UK Honorary President posted about the number of refugee crossings from France on 8 July 2023, writing: “Population Replacement Agenda 2050. Goodbye to us Native Britons. We will be no more.”

EXCLUSIVE

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

Population replacement – also known as replacement migration or the ‘Great Replacement’ – is a far-right conspiracy theory originating in the writings of the French fascist author Renaud Camus, who argues that there is a deliberate plot to eliminate the West’s white population by importing other races with higher birth rates.

In response to a tweet asking “does anybody else hate it when you pass an immigran… in the street and they look at you and disrespect you like you are unwelcome and the immigrant in their country”, Raw wrote: “2 made my 85 UR old mother step off the pavement into busy traffic as they wouldn’t concede any pavement, walking side by side. They both laughed at her. In their 30s.”

Raw invoked the ‘Great Replacement’ theory in response to a tweet from Nigel Farage. Photo: Imageplotter/Alamy

Raw also posted a tweet stating: “No one asked our opinion. They just opened the doors to anyone. Murderers, rapists, con men. Gangster peadofiles [sic], hate preachers, antisemites/ The list goes on. No one knows who is here now… Thank you politicians for dissolving our country.”

Raw has also shared tweets from English Defence League co-founder Yaxley-Lennon, and liked racist and white supremacist tweets from the leaders of far-right parties Britain First and the British Freedom Party.

This included liking posts claiming that “the white race has achieved more than all other races combined”, and one referring to Poland as “a patriotic European nation” because – in the eyes of Britain First Leader Paul Golding, who posted the tweet – there is “no immigration, no multiculturalism. No diversity”.

Reform UK has insisted that it is not a far-right party – something Aurelien Mondon, Senior Lecturer in Politics at Bath University who researches the mainstreaming of the far-right across Europe, does not accept.

Raw also shared tweets from Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, seen above being arrested after being asked to leave a march against antisemitism in November 2023. Photo: Guy Corbishley/Alamy

He told Byline Times: “The case of Reform is fairly typical and yet points to the inability of much of the mainstream media (and wider elite actors) to learn from previous mistakes when it comes to mainstreaming.

“While the party unmistakably taps into far-right politics and would be qualified as such by most experts in the field, there is a tendency in mainstream media and political circles to take it at its word.

“This could not be clearer than in the recent apology the BBC felt forced to put out for having claimed Reform is far-right. This has had a massive impact on the wider media landscape as many journalists will think twice before call the party such, even though it is certainly appropriate based on academic research.”

EXCLUSIVE

‘Fire Farage’: Public Wants Ofcom to Ban GB News Politician Presenters

The poll comes as broadcasting regulators give the green light to Nigel Farage and other senior politicians to keep presenting on news channels during the general election

Raw’s Facebook posts also appear to approve of violence as a method to deter asylum seekers from coming to the UK. He shared images of refugees crossing the Channel with spitfires flying overhead and the caption “what a border force used to look like”. He also shared a picture of Winston Churchill holding a tommy gun which he captioned: “We will stop them on the beaches. We will turn the boats around. We will leave the ECHR. We will never give up.”

Georgie Laming, director of Campaigns at anti-extremism charity Hope Not Hate, called Raw’s posts “vile” and said: “Time and time again, Reform UK candidates have been exposed for extreme racism and hateful ideology. It is clear they are not a credible party.”

Mondon added: “The process of mainstreaming [far-right parties] owes as much, if not more, to mainstream actors not taking the threat seriously than to far-right actors being on the rise.”

ENJOYING THIS ARTICLE? HELP US TO PRODUCE MORE

Receive the monthly Byline Times newspaper and help to support fearless, independent journalism that breaks stories, shapes the agenda and holds power to account.

We’re not funded by a billionaire oligarch or an offshore hedge-fund. We rely on our readers to fund our journalism. If you like what we do, please subscribe.

On a fundraising post for his candidacy, Raw wrote that he is “passionate about my town and my country” and that he wants his children to grow up in a country with “respect, values, decency and discipline, but most of all, safety”.

It goes on: “Over the last 25 years, these values have been forgotten about and replaced, and taken over by the Elite. So I have decided to stand up for my town, my country and my people to get the country back on track. These problems can be resolved if a party has the guts to push back, and stand up for our great nation. The party that our country needs to do this is Reform UK.”

At the time this article was published, just more than £400 had been donated towards a goal of £4,000.

Andrew Raw and Reform UK did not respond to requests for comment. 


Written by

This article was filed under
, ,