Reform candidate resigns over 'unacceptable' social media comments

16 June 2024, 21:41 | Updated: 17 June 2024, 06:56

The Reform Party has accepted the resignation of one of its election candidates after "unacceptable" historical social media comments came to light.

Grant StClair-Armstrong, who was standing in Saffron Walden, the Essex constituency where Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch was the most recent MP, tendered his resignation following reports in The Times that he had previously called on people to vote for the British National Party (BNP).

The newspaper reported that StClair-Armstrong posted a blog in 2010 in which he said: "I could weep now, every time I pick up a British newspaper and read the latest about the state of the UK. No doubt, Enoch Powell would be doing the same if he was alive. My solution … vote BNP!"

When The Times contacted Mr StClair-Armstrong about the comments, he said he had "no excuses".

"I've got no excuses for that," he said. "I think they're a disgusting party. I don't like the English Defence League. I don't like them."

Election latest: Pub registered as political party; Farage to launch Reform manifesto in Wales

The former candidate also said he would hand in his resignation, adding: "I don't really see any alternative."

A spokesperson for Reform told Sky News: "Mr StClair-Armstrong has tendered his resignation as a member of Reform UK due to the revelation of unacceptable historic social media comments and we have accepted his resignation."

His resignation comes just a day before Nigel Farage is due to launch the party's policies in South Wales on Monday afternoon.

Last week another Reform candidate apologised for an old internet post which said Britain should have "taken Hitler up on his offer of neutrality" instead of fighting the Nazis in the Second World War.

Ian Gribbin, who is standing in the East Sussex seat of Bexhill and Battle, told Sky News that he apologised and withdrew the comments "unreservedly".