Richard Tice tells Reform UK candidates not to post on social media when drunk

Reform UK leader Richard Tice has told candidates not to social media when drunk (Image: Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Reform UK leader Richard Tice has told candidates not to use social media after drinking alcohol as he looks to clampdown on “inappropriate” comments surfacing online.

The party has severed ties with 10 candidates ahead of the upcoming election after receiving complaints about their social media activity.

Tice says every political group has its “morons” but he emphasised his determination to swiftly remove them from the party ranks.

During a press briefing in London, Tice said: “We’re very clear to all our candidates for heaven’s sake if you’re going to have a glass on a Friday night then don’t use social media.”

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Reform UK leader Richard Tice (Image: PA Wire/PA Images)

He continued, stressing the importance of maintaining appropriate conduct: “It’s not sensible, if someone lets us down hereafter, then, frankly, if it is inappropriate, if it is unacceptable, then we’re going to part company.”

Tice further clarified the party’s stance on representation and free speech: “So you can have your freedom of speech, your freedom of expression, that doesn’t mean you have the right to represent Reform UK as a parliamentary candidate, because that’s our choice.”

Campaign group Hope Not Hate found tweets by candidates Jonathan Kay and Mick Greenhough in which they made derogatory comments about Muslims and Black people.

Kay, who had been campaigning for a seat in South Ribble, posted a tweet in 2019 asserting that Muslims “never coexist with others” and should be deported, while also making unfounded claims about African IQ levels.

Reform UK press conference

Reform UK has ditched seven candidates for the forthcoming election following complaints about their comments on social media (Stefan Rousseau/PA) (Image: PA Wire/PA Images)

Greenhough, who was the Reform candidate in Orpington, tweeted in 2023 that “the only solution” is to “remove the Muslims from our territory” and in 2019 said Ashkenazi Jews are a “problem” and have “caused the world massive misery”.

Hope Not Hate subsequently called the pair “wildly unsuitable for public office”.

It led to both individuals being removed as Reform candidates. In a comment to the PA news agency, Tice admitted: “We’re not happy for candidates to hold these views, but it’s when they get expressed is obviously when you know about it.

“And that’s how we find out about it. So, look, I’m being slightly cheeky in using that as an analogy but the reality is if someone holds and expresses inappropriate views we’re not going to tolerate it and we’re going to make the fastest decisions of anyone.”

Reform UK press conference

Reform UK leader Richard Tice said he will not tolerate inappropriate views from his candidates (Stefan Rousseau/PA) (Image: PA Wire/PA Images)

Tice went on to assert that any large organisation is susceptible to having elements of its community act inappropriately, stating that it’s impossible not to lose 1% or 2% to “something daft”.

He explained: “Every party has their share, frankly, of muppets and morons you’ve seen it with the sexual weirdos going on in the Tory Party, we’ve seen it with the antisemitism in the Labour Party and George Galloway’s party.”

In terms of vetting potential candidates for future roles, Tice likened it to carrying out an MOT, declaring: “The thing about vetting is it’s like an MOT, actually, it’s valid the day you do it.

“But the following Friday night, someone has a glass or two too much and puts something out on social media that they then permanently regret, so in a sense it never stops.”

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Reform UK leader Richard Tice

Reform UK leader Richard Tice (Stefan Rousseau/PA) (Image: PA Wire/PA Images)

“When someone does something that is completely wrong and inappropriate, we’re the fastest to sort it out and, frankly, kick them out.”

This statement came as Benjamin “Beau” Dade was removed from his candidate position for Swindon South after an investigation by Hope Not Hate.

Additionally, Ginny Ball in Rutland and Stamford, Nick Davies in North East Bedfordshire, David Carpin in Henley and Thame, and Roger Hoe in Beverley and Holderness have been dismissed due to their social media posts.

Some of the party’s candidates have garnered criticism from different quarters, with a convicted animal abuser and a fortune teller selling spells for £200 on the OnlyFans platform amongst its ranks.

Reform UK leader Richard Tice makes an announcement on policy areas ahead of the next general election, during a press conferenc

Reform UK leader Richard Tice makes an announcement on policy areas ahead of the next general election, during a press conference at The Institute Of Marine Engineering Science Technology, in London. Picture date: Monday April 8, 2024. (Image: 2024 PA Media, All Rights Reserved)

At the conference, Tice presented the party’s aim to eliminate NHS waiting lists within the coming two years.

Quashing doubts about funding such drastic changes, he sworn to redirect funds originally intended to achieve net zero by 2050. He provocatively stated: “Some of you might say that’s impossible; I say stop being so weak and pathetic.”

Tice then turned people’s attention to Labour while making a pitch to voters of the proverbial Red Wall.

Labour’s leader, Sir Keir Starmer, is making strides to win back the voting seats of the party’s former northern strongholds, which were taken over by the Tories during Boris Johnson’s sweeping victory in 2019.

Reform UK leader Richard Tice (right) and Lee Anderson talk ahead of Reform UK's press conference at The Institute Of Marine Eng

Reform UK leader Richard Tice (right) and Lee Anderson talk ahead of Reform UK’s press conference at The Institute Of Marine Engineering Science Technology, in London. Picture date: Monday April 8, 2024. (Image: 2024 PA Media, All Rights Reserved)

However, Tice has high hopes that Brexit-supporting constituents could swing their votes towards Reform instead of backing Labour.

Speaking on the matter, he said: “We are now actually polling the highest amongst Brexiteers across the whole of the UK. We’re above the Tories in the North, equal in the Midlands, so we’re making huge strides.”

The politician mentioned that the country is “completely and utterly broken” following a 14-year-rule by the Tories.

Reform UK press conference

Reform UK has ditched seven candidates for the upcoming election following complaints about their comments on social media (Stefan Rousseau/PA Images) (Image: PA Wire/PA Images)

However, he levelled an accusation at Labour for betraying working-class voters to champion a “woke” agenda, stating forcefully: “That’s the reality of what they’re doing. They no longer care, they have no plans, they have no solutions.”

“All they’re focused on, frankly, are the woke, managerial middle class who happen to be eco-zealots.”

When questioned about how his party intends to connect with younger voters, the 59 year old leader told PA: “We’re the largest political party on TikTok… I’m being shown videos of me saying all sorts of strange things that people on TikTok are enjoying piecing together.”

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