Reform UK says former candidate made 'daft' BNP comments at 'difficult' time in his life

Grant StClair-Armstrong is now standing as an independent North West Essex. Credit: Reform UK

Reform UK has said former candidate Grant StClair-Armstrong made "daft and inappropriate" comments and "has apologised" after he resigned over historic blog posts in which he called on people to vote for the British National Party (BNP).

Mr StClair-Armstrong, who is standing in the same constituency as women and equalities minister Kemi Badenoch, resigned from the party after The Times reported he posted the comments on a blog called the Joli Triste in 2010.

The paper reported he wrote: “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!”

As the deadline for nominations has passed, Mr StClair-Armstrong will appear on the ballot as the Reform UK candidate in North West Essex, but will stand as an independent if he is elected.

Nigel Farage replaced Richard Tice, left, as leader of Reform UK in June Credit: James Manning/PA

Reform UK said its former candidate made “daft” comments at a “difficult and angry time in his life”.

A Reform UK party spokesperson said: “Some 15 years ago, by own admission made some daft, inappropriate comments at a difficult and angry time in his life.

“He regrets them, and has resigned.”

When approached by The Times regarding the blog post, Mr StClair-Armstrong 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.”

He added he did not “really see any alternative” than handing in his resignation.

According to The Times, other blog posts included attempted humour using racial slurs and a joke about “female hormones”.

In separate comments to the BBC, Mr StClair-Armstrong said he had “never supported the BNP” and had been forced to stand down by Reform UK.

He told the broadcaster: “I would have let the people decide.

“I bitterly regret all of those comments made many years ago and I am just sorry that some people deemed it necessary to hunt for them when I am not the person I was then.”

Nigel Farage is set to unveil Reform UK’s manifesto, which the party dubs a “contract” with voters, at 1pm in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales.

The party leader said he is “launching a crusade to defend British values” and that the location was chosen “because it shows everyone exactly what happens to a country when Labour is in charge”.

Have you heard our new podcast Talking Politics? Every day in the run-up to the election Tom, Robert and Anushka dig into the biggest issues dominating the political agenda…