Reform UK campaigners caught making racist slurs – BBC.com

Warning: This story contains language that may offend
Homophobic and racist comments apparently made by Reform UK members have been recorded by an undercover Channel 4 journalist while they campaigned for Nigel Farage to become Clacton's MP.
Reform UK said those making "unacceptable comments" will no longer be part of Mr Farage's campaign.
The secret recordings feature a conversation between what appears to be Reform UK organisers.
One man linked to the party appears to make homophobic comments, describing a Pride flag on a police car as a "degenerate flag".
"What are the old bill doing promoting that crap?" he asks the group.
He repeatedly suggests members of the LGBT+ community are paedophiles and criticises police attending Pride.
He adds that, should Reform UK form a future government, “our police officers will be paramilitaries, they won’t be police” and should “bring back the noose”.
He is also shown telling an undercover reporter why Reform UK chose to stand in Clacton, saying: "Have a look around, proper England. You know what I mean, proper English."
He added it was "not like in London, when you’re a foreigner in your own country" and "if you say hello to anyone" they look like they are about to "knife you in the face".
BBC News has been unable to verify this man's identity and is attempting to contact him.
During the conversation senior Reform UK campaigner Rob Bates says the party has "spent double" the legal spending limit during its campaign to get Mr Farage elected.
Mr Bates later told Channel 4 News that his comment was a joke and clarified that he is not responsible for campaign spending.
Reform UK told the programme that campaign spending is “well within the legal spending limits”.
Footage broadcast by Channel 4 shows further racist, homophobic and Islamophobic slurs apparently being made by Andrew Parker, identified as a canvasser for Mr Farage, who used a racial slur to refer to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who is of Indian descent.
Mr Parker is also heard describing Islam as "the most disgusting cult out" and suggesting army recruits should carry out “target practice” by shooting at small boats bringing illegal migrants to the UK.
At one point Mr Parker tells voters Reform would be "kicking all the Muslims out of the mosques and turning them into Wetherspoons".
During campaigning, he advises the undercover reporter to use the term "illegal" when discussing immigration, especially when addressing non-white households.
Ahead of the publication of the footage, Mr Parker made a statement to Channel 4 claiming "neither Nigel Farage personally or the Reform Party are aware of my personal views on immigration".
Mr Parker said: “I have never discussed immigration with either Nigel Farage or the Reform Party and that any comments made by me during those recordings are my own personal views on any subject I commented on.
“I would therefore like to apologise profusely to Nigel Farage and the Reform Party if my personal views have reflected badly on them and brought them into disrepute as this was not my intention."
Speaking at a Reform UK event in Boston, Lincolnshire, party leader Nigel Farage said the party was not "perfect".
"We've had one or two candidates that have said things they shouldn't have said," he said. "In most cases they're just speaking like ordinary folk.
"They're not part of the mainstream political Oxbridge speak, we understand that. In some cases one or two people let us down and we let them go.
"Well, compare that to the international price fixing and betting ring that is the modern day Conservative Party."
Alongside him Hubberts Bridge Community Centre, chairman of the party Richard Tice said the racist comments were "inappropriate".
He said: "We put a statement out and it's all self-explanatory in the statement.
"The reality is that we're a fast-growing movement, and when you've got unpaid volunteers, some people behave inappropriately. And they're gone."
Peter Harris, Reform UK's Campaign Manager in Clacton, said he was "appalled by these reported comments".
"All parties in such a short campaign are having to deal with the challenges of working with many activists they may not have met before," Mr Harris added.
"Any individuals who have been identified as making unacceptable comments and holding those views are not welcome in our campaign. We are running a campaign to represent all voters in Clacton."
The other general election candidates standing in Clacton can be found here.
Labour Leader Sir Keir Starmer called the comments "clearly racist", and claimed the scandal was a test of Mr Farage's leadership.
"It is for a leader to change his or her party to make sure the culture is right – and the standards are understood by everybody within the party," Sir Keir told BBC Breakfast.
"You have to ask the question why so many people who were supporting Reform are exposed in this particular way," he added.
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