Nigel Farage Claims His Racist Party Canvasser Was a ‘Total Setup’


Just a week out from Britain’s general election, Nigel Farage’s rightwing Reform U.K. was rocked by an explosive exposé showing people associated with the party using racist and homophobic language.

The damning undercover report Thursday from Channel 4 News captured the slurs used by a Reform volunteer and a Farage campaign events organizer in Clacton, the district Farage is hoping to represent in Westminster on July 4. But now Donald Trump’s most high-profile British ally is claiming the whole thing is a “setup.”

A Reform canvasser identified in the report as Andrew Parker was filmed making racist and Islamophobic remarks in front of an undercover journalist, even using an offensive British term to describe British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who is of South Asian descent.

Parker advised the clandestine reporter to emphasize the word “illegal” when talking to potential voters on the doorstep, especially “if you open the door and there’s a bunch of p—is.” While speaking to a voter himself, Parker also spoke about stopping boats of illegal migrants entering the U.K. by deploying young army recruits “with guns on the fucking beach” for “target practice.”

“Fucking just shoot them,” he said.

The report was met with widespread condemnation from across the political spectrum. Sunak said the language “hurts” and made him angry, while the opposition Labour Party Leader Keir Starmer said he’d been “shocked” by what he’d heard.

On Friday, however, Farage insinuated that all is not as it seems.

“Andrew Parker was the man that made the astonishing racist comments that have given us so much negative coverage,” he wrote in an X post. “We now learn that he is an actor by profession. His own website says he is ‘well spoken’ but from the moment he arrived in Clacton he was doing what he calls ‘rough speaking’. This whole episode does not add up.”

His post included a link to a page for an actor named Andrew Parker who resembles the man seen in the undercover report. Farage later retweeted a video purporting to compare the actor’s “natural” voice with his “rough speaking” voice, the latter sounding more like the accent heard in the exposé footage.

“It was an act right from the very start,” Farage said during a Friday appearance on the chat show Loose Women, adding: “This whole thing is a complete and total setup.” When asked who he believed was setting him up, Farage said he didn’t know if Parker “was being paid or not” but added it was “possible” that Channel 4 News had done so.

A BBC reporter separately pointed out that just because Parker is an actor doesn’t mean he was acting in the offensive footage. Farage answered that the “well-spoken actor” had been using his “rough speaking” voice since appearing in Farage’s Clacton office on Saturday. “He was acting from the moment he came into the office,” Farage said. “I 100 percent believe this whole thing is a total setup.”

Speaking to Britain’s PA news agency, Parker confirmed he worked as an actor but suggested that it was unrelated to his work volunteering for Reform. “Of course I regret what I said,” Parker added. “I’m old school. Christ, I’m not a racist. I’ve had Muslim girlfriends. It was typical chaps-down-the-pub talk.”

He also claimed he’d been “goaded” into making the remarks and alluded to unpublished “jokes and bits and pieces” made by the undercover journalist, but did not provide details of what the reporter allegedly said.

“We strongly stand by our rigorous and duly impartial journalism which speaks for itself,” Channel 4 News spokesperson told The Daily Beast in a statement. “We met Mr. Parker for the first time at Reform U.K. party headquarters, where he was a Reform party canvasser.”

“We did not pay the Reform UK canvasser or anyone else in this report,” the spokesperson added. “Mr. Parker was not known to Channel 4 News and was filmed covertly via the undercover operation.”

The report had also included comments from George Jones, who was described as running events for Farage’s campaign. Jones was filmed describing a Pride flag on a police car hood as a “fucking degenerate flag” which was promoting “nonces,” a U.K. slang term for pedophiles. The Daily Beast has contacted Reform about what, if any, disciplinary action Jones is facing.

Farage told Channel 4 News Thursday he was “dismayed by the reported comments of a handful of people associated with my local campaign.” “The appalling sentiments expressed by some in these exchanges bear no relation to my own views, those of the vast majority of our supporters or Reform U.K. policy,” he added, claiming some of the language was “reprehensible.”

Several candidates for Farage’s party have come under scrutiny since the election was called, with one being dropped altogether Thursday after it emerged he’d once been a member of the far-right British National Party.

This post was originally published on Daily Beast

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