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Reform UK Candidate Retracts Controversial WWII Comments Amid Election Turmoil



Reform UK representative Ian Gribbin, running for a seat in Bexhill and Battle, has issued an apology on Sky News for his previous statements implying that the UK should have remained neutral in World War II, retracting his remarks without reservation.

Political correspondent @FayeBrownSky

Monday, June 10, 2024, 17:

A candidate from Reform UK has issued an apology for a past online comment suggesting that the UK should have accepted Hitler's proposal for neutrality instead of engaging in combat against the Nazis during World War II.

Ian Gribbin, the candidate for the East Sussex constituency of Bexhill and Battle, expressed to Sky News his unconditional apology and full retraction of his earlier remarks.

He expressed his frustration about the misinterpretation of his words, noting that his mother was the descendant of Russian Jews who escaped persecution.

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Mr. Gribbin stated: "I regret making those previous remarks and fully retract them. I also apologize for any distress they have caused."

"I am personally distressed by how these remarks were misconstrued, particularly since my mother was the daughter of Russian Jews who escaped persecution."

According to the BBC, Mr. Gribbin expressed on the UnHerd website in 2022 that the UK should have accepted Hitler's proposal for neutrality during World War II.

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According to Sky News, the message stated: "The UK would be much better off now if we had accepted Hitler’s proposal for neutrality… but instead, Britain's distorted perspective prioritizes strange concepts of global morality over the well-being of its citizens."

In a different message from the same year, he referred to women as the "leeching gender."

When questioned about the remarks, Nigel Farage, the leader of Reform UK, stated that his party "didn't have enough time" to thoroughly screen candidates.

He argued that all groups involved will face difficulties due to the rapid pace at which candidates were chosen following the announcement of the election.

Mr. Farage stated, "There's a more significant issue within the Green Party. They've been forced to suspend 20 candidates due to the posting of rather offensive antisemitic tweets."

"Here's the thing, I believe every party will be at a disadvantage due to the suddenness of the election. We have implemented a solid screening process, but we're short on time."

Party chairman Richard Tice commented, "We are genuinely satisfied with all our candidates. Naturally, when instances of inappropriate behavior or foolish remarks occur, we will certainly investigate them, as this is our standard procedure."

"Astonishing lapse in discretion"

Veterans' Minister Johnny Mercer described Mr. Gribbin's remarks as "shameful" and indicative of "a shocking lack of judgment."

The Conservative stated: "These remarks overlook the countless lives taken by the Nazis in their pursuit of control over Europe and the supreme sacrifices made by those who confronted Hitler during our most perilous times.

Leveraging the concept of appeasement to excuse or rationalize Nazi sympathy is reprehensible, and it’s particularly alarming to hear such remarks from members of a political party.

'Youth-oriented identity politics'

A representative from Reform UK criticized the media while speaking to Sky News, expressing frustration that the coverage focuses on trivial identity politics rather than addressing policies and ideas that matter to the millions who are struggling.

"The hurriedly called election shortened the vetting process, and these concerns will be dealt with after the polls. However, the BBC and similar entities must mature and engage in discussions about ideas with the party's leaders."

The statement was a response to an earlier comment given to the BBC, where the spokesperson clarified that Mr. Gribbin's remark on Hitler did not signify support but highlighted a "conveniently overlooked fact." Additionally, his statement about women was described as being made in jest.

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According to a BBC investigation utilizing offensive archaeology, Mr. Gribbin has been discovered to have made multiple remarks on various topics.

"They were penned considering discomforting viewpoints and realities. This does not imply approval, but rather serves as discussion points in extended dialogues.

"His view on the actions the UK might have taken in the 1930s was a common belief among most of the British elite at the time, including the BBC, and it likely holds some truth."

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"Once more, this isn't an endorsement, simply highlighting truths that have been overlooked.

"Regarding the issue of feminism, his tone is so sarcastic that it should be obvious from a considerable distance."

The dispute arose following the declaration of economic policies by Reform UK in Westminster.

The proposal involves increasing the income tax threshold to £20,000, which would entail a cost of £40 billion. This expense would be covered by restructuring the Bank of England.

A complete list of nominees for the Bexhill and Battle district is available here.

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