Reform candidate said Britain would be ‘better’ if it had been neutral over Hitler

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Reform candidate said Britain would be ‘better’ if it had been neutral over Hitler

Ian Gribbin, candidate in Bexhill and Battle for Nigel Farage's party, also praised the ‘maturity’ of Russian president Vladimir Putin

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Nigel Farage  (Wikipedia/Gage Skidmore )
Nigel Farage (Wikipedia/Gage Skidmore )

A candidate for the Nigel Farage-led Reform UK party claimed the country would be “far better” today if it had “taken Hitler up on his offer of neutrality” rather than fighting the Nazis in the Second World War.

Ian Gribbin, the party’s candidate in Bexhill and Battle, also wrote on the Unherd magazine website that women were the “sponging gender” and should be “deprived of health care”.

The 2022 posts, revealed by the BBC, also saw the candidate praise Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Reform UK candidate Ian Gribbin

The posts emerged just one day after former Home Secretary Suella Braverman had urged Tories to find a way to merge with Reform UK, and suggesting there was “not much difference” between Farage’s policies and those of her party.

Former UKip and Brexit Party leader Farage was confirmed as Reform’s new leader earlier this month, and is aiming to capitalise on the Conservative Party’s rocky election campaign.

Responding to Gribbin’s comments a spokesperson for Reform UK said they were not “endorsements” but “written with an eye to inconvenient perspectives and truths”.

The also claimed remarks about women were “tongue in cheek”.

In July 2022, Gribbin wrote: “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.”

According to the BBC that same month he wrote: “In Britain specifically we need to exorcise the cult of Churchill and recognize that in both policy and military strategy, he was abysmal.”

After his comments sparked an outcry he apologised on Monday, saying they were “old comments” yand he withdrew them “unreservedly”.

He added: “I myself am upset at the way these comments were taken out of context especially when my mother was the daughter of Russian Jews fleeing persecution.”

In the run up to the invasion of Ukraine, he praised President Putin, writing in January 2022 that he had “shown a maturity of which we can only dream of”.

He also criticised women, writing on the site’s message board: “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’.”

He added that women are “subsidised by men to merely breath (sic)”.

In January 2022 he posted: “Men pay 80% of tax. Women take out 80% of expenditures.

“Square that inequality first by depriving women of healthcare until their life expectancies are the same as men, Fair’s fair.”

In December 2021 he wrote female soldiers “almost made me wretch (sic)” and were a “total liability”.

A Reform UK spokesman said: “Through offence archaeology the BBC has found that Mr Gribbin has made a series of comments about a number of subjects.

“They were written with an eye to inconvenient perspectives and truths. That doesn’t make them endorsements, just arguing points in long distance debates.

“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.
“Again no endorsement, just pointing out conveniently forgotten truths.

“As for the feminism point, his tongue is so firmly in his cheek one should be able to spot it from 100 yards.”

On his website Gribbin says he grew up in the north of England but he moved to the south observing:” I saw how other countries have done a far better job in managing their societies than we have.

“I am a passionate observer of the decline of British culture and the economy.”

He added:”Most notable of which is the collapse of civic pride and the overall decline of standards at all levels of society. Local government is utterly dysfunctional and combined with the incompetence in Westminster since Blair took charge, national decline has accelerated.”

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