South Ribble general election candidate for Reform UK dropped over accusations

Posted on - 4th April, 2024 - 2:15pm | Author - | Posted in - Politics, Preston News, South Ribble News
Jonathan Kay
Jonathan Kay

The Reform UK candidate for South Ribble at the next general election has been dropped by the party after accusations of racist comments made on social media.

Tweets from Jonathan Kay, in which he allegedly made derogatory comments about Muslims and black people, were highlighted by campaign group Hope Not Hate.

Hope Not Hate alleged that Kay made ‘countless’ racist and Islamophobic comments regarding the intelligence of Muslim and African people. Kay previously stood as a Reform UK candidate in the West Lancashire by-election in 2023.

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Reform UK confirmed that Kay has been ‘removed’ as candidate for South Ribble, along with a London-based candidate, and stated that they act faster than Labour and Conservative when statements fall beneath their standards.

Posting on X on Wednesday evening in response to a comment criticising his treatment by Reform UK, Kay said: “I have yet to speak to anybody at Reform as to why.

“I would obviously prefer to do that before making any further comment, except to say, I have always found the people at Reform, decent, highly principled and wanting the best for our country.”

A spokesperson 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.”

Reform UK have now dropped seven candidates for the next general election after complaints regarding behaviour on social media.

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