Reform UK candidate resigns after blog posts calling for people to vote for British National Party emerge

17 June 2024, 08:43

Grant StClair-Armstrong says he was forced to stand down by the Reform UK party
Grant StClair-Armstrong says he was forced to stand down by the Reform UK party. Picture: Alamy/Reform Party

By Will Conroy

A Reform UK parliamentary candidate has resigned after social media comments emerged in which he called on people to vote for the British National Party (BNP).

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Grant StClair-Armstrong, who was standing in Kemi Badenoch’s constituency in North West Essex, was also found to have posted jokes using racial slurs and about “female hormones”, according to The Times.

Mr StClair-Armstrong posted a blog in 2010 that 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!"

In another post, he said: “Get this shower of s**t out of parliament and vote BNP, since they are the only party that seem to have any interest in protecting 'British' interests.”

Despite the BNP’s support diminishing, the party ran 339 candidates in the 2010 election and picked up over half a million votes.

Mr StClair-Armstrong, who was standing in Saffron Walden, said he had “no excuses” when he was approached by The Times about the comments.

Grant StClair-Armstrong was standing in Kemi Badenoch’s constituency in North West Essex
Grant StClair-Armstrong was standing in Kemi Badenoch’s constituency in North West Essex. Picture: Alamy

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

The Reform candidate said he didn’t “see any alternative” after the party had forced him to hand in his resignation.

“To be honest, I wouldn’t have stepped down. I would have let the people decide,” he said.

A spokesperson for Reform has said: "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."

Read more: Reform candidate apologises after suggesting UK should have 'taken Hitler up on his offer of neutrality'

Read more: He’s not lovin' it: Moment Nigel Farage has McDonald’s milkshake thrown into his face while campaigning in Clacton

Mr StClair-Armstrong added: “This was on my website many years ago, when I was going through a very angry period. It was not put on in 2010 but a long time before.

“I didn't take any interest in the site for a very long time and had practically forgotten about it.

“When I did decide to take an interest again, I took all the garbage off, made it a lot nicer and looked at life a bit differently.

“As for the BNP and EDL, I think they are vile organisations and you'll never find anything positive from me about them since.

“Naturally, I regret all of this, especially my ludicrous support for the BNP and the EDL. People change their views.”

Nigel Farage will kick off Reform UK's policies in South Wales on Monday
Nigel Farage will kick off Reform UK's policies in South Wales on Monday. Picture: Alamy

The resignation of the Reform candidate came on Sunday, with leader Nigel Farage set to launch the party’s policies on Monday afternoon in South Wales.

In another of the blogs to come to light, StClair-Armstrong wished serious illness on Scottish politician Kenny MacAskill.

Discussing the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war, he posted: “The simple solution is to extradite Blair ... [and] the odious Alistair Campbell to a country that routinely indulges in torture and execution”.

This comes just a week after another Reform candidate, Ian Gribbin, 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.

In response to this case, Mr Farage said his party “ran out time” to vet candidates properly after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced a surprise general election for 4 July.

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