Reform Party Backs Candidate Who Said UK Should Have Done A Deal With Hitler

This controversial view of WW2 Britain is "probably true", the party's spokesperson said.
Nigel Farage's spokesperson said the comments on the UK doing a deal with Hitler were "probably true".
Nigel Farage's spokesperson said the comments on the UK doing a deal with Hitler were "probably true".
Leon Neal via Getty Images

A Reform UK candidate has been backed up by their right-wing party after it was revealed they once said Britain should have done a deal with Adolf Hitler.

The candidate for Bexhill and Battle, Ian Gribbin, claimed in the Unherd magazine in 2022 that Britain would “be in a far better state” if the country had not fought the Nazis in World War 2, according to the BBC.

He said: “Britain would be in a far better state today had we taken Hitler up on his offer of neutrality…. but oh no Britain’s warped mindset values weird notions of international morality rather than looking after its own people.”

Reform has repeatedly positioned itself as the most “patriotic” party ahead of the general election and its leader Nigel Farage even launched his campaign by calling for more people to learn about D-Day, and not to “be ashamed of our past”.

Even so, the party’s spokesperson stood by Gribbin on Monday.

They told the BBC: “His historical perspective of what the UK could have done in the 30s was shared by the vast majority of the British establishment including the BBC of its day, and is probably true.”

The spokesperson claimed Gribbin was not endorsing these viewpoints, “just pointing out conveniently forgotten truths” and “arguing points in long distance truths”.

When questioned by a journalist over the news story shortly after it was published, Farage said Reform had planned a large vetting programme for candidates but they “ran out of time” before the snap election was called.

Reform’s chairman Richard Tice also said the party would “of course” look at these claims and investigate it.

These are not the only eye-catching remarks Gribbin made on Unherd’s website – in 2022, he said Britain needs to “exorcise the cult of Churchill” and recognise he was “abysmal”.

Farage has made his admiration for Churchill, the Conservative wartime prime minister, very clear in the past.

In 2016, he waded into a row over whether Winston Churchill’s bust should be on display in the Oval Office.

Gribbin also lashed out at women in other posts on Unherd’s website.

In June 2022, he said: “Do you think you could actually work and pay for it all too like good citizens?

“Men pay 80% of tax – women spend 80% of tax revenue. On aggregate as a group you only take from society.

“Less complaining please from the ‘sponging gender’.”

The Reform spokesperson told the BBC that “his tongue is so firmly in his cheek one should be able to spot it from 100 yards” with this point.

Meanwhile, the month before Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine, Gribbin claimed the Russian president had “shown a maturity of which we can only dream of”.

Farage previously called Putin’s invasion “totally abhorrent”.

Reform has leapt in the opinion polls since Farage announced he was going to make his eighth attempt to run for parliament and take over as leader of the party last week.

His return to frontline politics puts the pressure on the Tories, who are expected to face a catastrophic loss at the ballot box next month.

Reform is also standing 609 candidates across the country.

Veterans’ minister Johnny Mercer said: “The suggestion from a Reform spokesman that Britain would have been better off accepting the Nazis’ squalid offer of neutrality instead of standing against them is shameful and shows a shocking lack of judgement.

“These comments ignore the millions murdered by the Nazis in their bid for European domination and the ultimate sacrifice paid by the men and women who stood up to Hitler in our darkest hour.

“Misusing appeasement to justify Nazi apologism is disgraceful and comments like this are deeply troubling coming from a political party.”


What's Hot