Anti-racist campaigners protest Reform UK in Clacton (Photo: Guy Smallman)

The racist Reform UK party, led by Nigel Farage, threatened an electoral breakthrough at the general election as Socialist

Worker went to print. Such a result would mean an even deeper injection of racism into British politics.

Farage claims he “wants to build a mass movement”, holding a rally last Saturday in Birmingham that 4,500 people attended.

At the rally, Farage described migration as a “national security emergency”, linking migration to “societal decline” and “cultural decline”. “Make Britain great again,” Farage said as crowds greeted him chanting, “Nigel, Nigel, Nigel!”

The rally came after Reform UK was forced to drop some of its election candidates following revelations of their racist comments.

It’s not that their views are different to those of many Reform UK members. It’s that their views have been found out.

Edward Oakenfull, who is standing in Derbyshire Dales, Robert Lomas, a candidate for Barnsley North, and Leslie Lilley, standing in Southend East and Rochford, will still appear on the ballot paper as Reform UK candidates.

They’re a sign of how lightly the party takes racist comments. Oakenfull posted derogatory comments about the IQ of sub‑Saharan Africans on social media last year. He said the remarks had been taken out of context.

Lomas reportedly said black people should “get off their lazy arses” and stop acting “like savages”.

The Times newspaper reported the comments on 8 June, with Reform UK at the time claiming they were “out of context part quotations”.

Lilley reportedly described people arriving on small boats as “scum” in a social media post, adding, “I hope your family get robbed, beaten or attacked.”

Reform is a rancid party, looking to reach a record high far right vote. The previous high was in 2015, when Ukip won 3.8 million votes— 12.6 percent of the vote.

The new campaign happens in the context of a surge of fascist support in France, Germany and Italy.

The French elections highlight the escalation of Europe’s far right. And in the United States, far right Donald Trump looks likely to win the presidential election.

In Britain, Reform UK is gaining at the expense of the Tories, whose turmoil will only deepen after their impending disastrous election loss.

They will be sent into the wilderness in search of answers. The analysis of some Tories will be that they were too “left wing”, creating a further shift to the right.

Some may even make a dirty deal with Farage and Reform UK that could see Farage enter the Tory party.

We may well see a realignment of the right in Britain. One certainty is that the rise of the far right will mean more racist lies, scapegoating and hatred. It will boost fascists on the ground, such as Tommy Robinson.

Anti-racists, the unions and the left must organise and fight the far right. An essential battle will take place on 27 July against Robinson’s mobilisation in London.

For information on the 27 July Tommy Robinson mobilisation, go to standuptoracism.or.uk

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