Reform UK candidate made 'low IQ' comments about minorities

A Reform UK candidate tweeted derogatory comments about the IQ of ethnic minorities, it has emerged.

Edward Oakenfull, Reform UK's candidate for Derbyshire Dales, made the offensive posts on X last year, referring to the IQ of sub-Saharan Africans.

The Conservative Party said he posted a "number of Islamophobic and racist comments".

Mr Oakenfull has told the BBC his comments were "taken out of context", adding he has since deleted his X account because it was being used by others to carry out a political "hit job".

The Reform UK website says Mr Oakenfull is a 56-year-old property developer and investor who lives in Denby, near Belper, Derbyshire.

On the website, he said he has "been despairing at how our country has been run for decades and, for the love of my community and country, decided that I needed to make a stand".

He tweeted the comments about sub-Saharan Africans "diluting" the UK's IQ in July last year.

Then in November, he tweeted: "Nothing good will come from importing yet more Muslims", and the following month, said the BBC chairman's ethnicity was "another reason to cancel" the licence fee.

When asked by the BBC about the tweets, Mr Oakenfull said: "It's just all [been] taken out of context.

"With [X] you can't get across what you want in the limited amount of space that you have."

Mr Oakenfull also said it was his rivals creating a controversy about the posts.

"I'm staggered at the dirty tricks that some of my opponents are stooping to," he said.

Asked why he had deleted his account after the posts were pointed out, he said they were being used for a "hit job".

He added: "I am so fed up with this nonsense, I have just deleted it. [X] is a sewer, full of activists and so many trolls."

Asked about the individual posts he said the comments about sub-Saharan Africans had been taken out of context and were made during a discussion on a book.

In addition, his posts Muslims and the chairman of the BBC had been about concerns over levels of migration and a "tick box culture" in recruitment.

Reform UK has also been approached for comment.

The full list of candidates in the Derbyshire Dales constituency is:

  • Kelda Boothroyd, Green

  • Robert Court, Liberal Democrat

  • Sarah Dines, Conservative

  • Rachel Elnaugh-Love, Independent

  • Edward Oakenfull, Reform UK

  • Helen Wetherall, True & Fair Party

  • John Whitby, Labour

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