Reform UK ‘most supportive’ to community, claims Hampstead and Highgate candidate

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Reform UK ‘most supportive’ to community, claims Hampstead and Highgate candidate

Catherine Becker, who is Jewish, disputed claims that Nigel Farage's party was a home for 'racists'

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Catherine Becker with Reform UK chairman Richard Tice
Catherine Becker with Reform UK chairman Richard Tice

The Reform UK candidate for Hampstead and Highgate has defended the party against claims it has allowed far-right fanatics to stand for election at the general election.

Catherine Becker, who is Jewish herself, said the reality is the Nigel Farage led party was now the “most supportive” towards the community.

She said that under the leadership of Richard Tice,  now Reform UK’ chairman the party had been quick to condemn the “unfairness” of what she claimed has been “two-tiered policing” of pro-Palestine marches after October 7th, where police would “turn a blind-eye to Muslims, but stop a chap with a kippah and say ‘you can’t be here'”.

Becker told Jewish News there had been “quite a lot of misconception”  within the community that Reform was a party for “racists”.

Asked to comment on newspaper reports exposing one Reform candidate who said Britain would have been better off accepting an offer of neutrality from Adolf Hitler ahead of World War II, and another report in which a separate candidate had described Hitler as “brilliant” although “evil”, Becker said there had been a “fast but quite thorough” selection process for candidates.

“What I would say, which I like about Reform, is that if we do find those outliers, which you inevitably do with politics, they act really quickly, and really decisively,” she added.

“What’s nice is that they have a really streamlined view. Richard looks at it, and if they’ve done something racist or untoward, then they are out
“I think you will find that with Labour and the Conservatives, they take ages.”

Defending the comments about neutrality and Hitler, made by Ian Gribbin, standing for Reform in Bexhill & Battle, in east Sussex, Becker said:”They guy was actually mortified, his grandmother was actually stuck in the gulags in Russia. It was completely not his views.

“Apparently he was speaking to an intellectual journal and was asked for his views on how, if this happened, people would act.”

Becker said she had never experienced any antisemitism in Reform. “In terms of my experience they have been very supportive of Jewish candidates, there’s a number around the country.

“And actually, I think we have one of the most diverse candidate pools I’ve seen in a party, not necessarily represented at the top of the party.
“You know, we’ve got Asians, we’ve got Muslims…all denominations.”

Nigel Farage (Wikipedia/Gage Skidmore )

The Reform manifesto, launched this week, took a tough stance on Sharia Law which it vowed to ban in the UK.

She said Sharia was “divisive” and that the “view is we are happy for people to come into the country, like Jewish people, who are very good at integrating with communities.”

Becker added:”You know, we celebrate Christmas, we are grateful to this country for having us in. It’s the divisiveness of coming into this country, and wanting to have different laws.”

Becker revealed she is a member of Alyth Synagogue in Temple Fortune, but until she was married was a member of Lauderdale Road Sephardi shul.

“I had two boys, so I couldn’t sit with any of my family so we moved to reform,” she said, adding Alyth. have “been amazing.”

Asked about her social media posts that previously showed she had been supportive of Liz Truss as Tory Party leader, Becker said:”Politically, I have voted for Lib Dems, Labour and Conservatives. For me it’s about the policies, not the politics.

“I read all the manifestos before I vote. But I do think you need to reward people who are working in the economy.”

She claimed that at the forthcoming election the wasted vote in her constituency was now actually for the Tories.

Also standing in Hampstead and Highgate are Labour’s Tulip Sadiq, Don Williams for the Conservatives, Scott Emery for the Lib Dems, Lorna Russell for the Greens, and Christie Elan-Cane, Rejoin EU, along with independent Jonathan Livingstone.

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