Reform UK under pressure to verify all candidates are legit

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By Creative Media News

  • Reform UK pressed to prove election candidates’ legitimacy
  • Some candidates lacked images, bios, and contact info
  • Liberal Democrats demand Reform provide candidate details

Reform UK has been pressed to produce proof that its general election candidates were all actual people after questions were raised about several candidates who stood without submitting images, biographies, or contact information.

Reform asserts that all of its 609 candidates on July 4 were genuine while admitting that some were essentially “paper candidates” who performed no campaigning and were there to help increase the party’s vote share.

However, after learning about the apparent absence of information about some candidates, the Liberal Democrats urged Reform to release information about them.

A Liberal Democrat source stated: “This does not sound right, and Reform should provide evidence. We need Reform to reveal who they are. People need to believe in the democratic process.”

Several candidates featured on the Nigel Farage-led party’s election website have their names and the constituency they ran, with no information or contact information other than a generic regional email address.

Many of these persons have no visible online presence and don’t appear to be campaigning. Photographs of the electoral counts for various crucial constituencies demonstrate that the Reform candidate was the only one who did not appear.

Under electoral laws, the only information required about a candidate is their full name and the seat in which they live. They must each have an agent and be nominated by ten local voters.

It is still being determined whether some of the Reform candidates are on the electoral register for the area they are running, which in some cases is hundreds of miles away from the constituency—one person with the same name and location as a contender denied being them.

While there is no indication that any of the candidates are fraudulent, it would be a significant electoral crime if this were the case. Reform was eager to capture as much of the national vote as possible, aided by an extensive roster of candidates. Some of the seemingly invisible contenders received several thousand votes.

According to a Reform insider, “All of our candidates are categorically legitimate. Given the hurry, a handful are paper candidates who did not campaign. Some persons began as paper candidates but later campaigned, and one of them, James McMurdock of South Basildon and East Thurrock, won his seat.

One Reform candidate, suspected of being a fake in part because his official election photo appeared to be generated by AI, is indeed a natural person.

Concerns about Mark Matlock, who gained 1,758 votes in Clapham and Brixton Hill in south London, were heightened when he failed to appear for the election count. Sceptics pointed to an apparent lack of campaign photos.

However, Matlock asserted that he existed and had a purpose for the strange-looking election photo: “The image is me. I had to adjust it to replace my tie and suit since I couldn’t get to a photographer in time.” He showed a copy of the original image, edited to make his tie a Reform light blue.

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Matlock, who lives in the Cotswolds, admitted to doing a leaflet drop and understood the need to get candidates in place: “The election caught us all off guard, and Rishi Sunak was well aware of this. But we were nevertheless able to fill the majority of the seats with candidates, even though not all of them lived there, and this all contributed to our vote share.”

The Clapham and Brixton Hill candidate said he missed the election count due to sickness.

Separately, it has been revealed that Reform raised the most money of any political party during the fourth week of the election campaign, totalling about £600,000, with a third coming from the party’s new donor, Zia Yusuf.

Yusuf, a Muslim businessman who spoke at a recent Reform protest, founded Velocity Black, a luxury concierge company, and donated £200,000 to Nigel Farage’s party.

Reform also received £125,000 from Jeremy Hosking, a businessman who recently supported Laurence Fox’s Reclaim party, and Andrew Bridgen, an anti-vax former Tory MP.

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