Regardless of your views on Reform UK, it’s hard to deny that Farage’s triumphant comeback tour has at least injected some verve and excitement into British politics. Excitement that “Captain Cautious” Starmer and the self-immolation of the Tories have failed to deliver. His election campaign buzzes and pulsates with energetic “vibes” – just check out his TikTok page – which he has adroitly used to position himself as the supposed people’s tribune, when the majority of voters do not like the guy. 

Unfortunately, the “vibes” of his party’s candidates have been far less salubrious. Following weeks of a slow but steady drip of highly embarrassing and compromising revelations, Farage and his assistant Richard “the hairdresser” Tice came out todaythreatening to sue Reform’s vetting company for singularly failing to do its job. was reportedly paid £144,000 by Reform to weed out parliamentary candidates with “extremist” views. The company is co-owned by Colin Bloom, an ex-Tory adviser under Johnson, but maintains it is “politically neutral” and provides a software platform for clients to help them run checks themselves.  

Having previously dismissed the press coverage as “juvenile gotcha identity politics”, the threat to sue marks an implicit U-turn on Farage’s erstwhile stance of defending Reform candidates – “not all of our candidates have been to Eton” – and stressing the party has only “had trouble with one or two candidates”. 

Susanna Reid received plaudits on X for spurning Farage’s paltry attempts to downplay the scandal, pointing out that you don’t need a vetting company to check that people are Facebook friends with a bona fide fascist leader, Gary Raikes(as 41 of Reform’s candidates were found to be).

The roll call is almost comical. There has been an alarming level of soft-pedalling on Hitler. Jack Aaron, who is standing against Grant Shapps, described the Nazi dictator as “brilliant”, although he says he meant it in terms of Adolf’s effectiveness, not an endorsement, while Ian Gribbin claimed Britain would be “in a far better state today” if the country had taken up Hitler’s offer of neutrality (though he has since apologised for his comments). Angela Carter-Begbie, meanwhile, questioned the loyalty of none other than His Majesty himself, accusing him of being “under the WEF”. Then there is Grant StClair-Armstrong’s charming flirtation with the genuine far-right, encouraging people to vote for the BNP, and even a hot take on Ghislaine Maxwell by Marc Burca (“Was Ghislaine doing the 17-year-old a favour?… This is a grey area of the law”).

It is true that some of the candidates’ comments were taken out of context, remember Aaron did also stress that Hitler was “utter evil” as well as “brilliant”. Even so, while Farage may protest that “most of our candidates are not political sophisticates”, he shouldn’t settle for political imbeciles either.

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