9 Dec 2019

Racism in key Brexit Party campaign

North of England Correspondent

Undercover filming inside the Brexit Party reveals racism and bigotry from two officials fighting for key Hartlepool seat.

Undercover filming inside Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party reveals racism and bigotry from two officials fighting for key Hartlepool seat

– A Brexit Party councillor boasted he tried to bury a pig’s head under a mosque, and said Muslims were “outbreeding us” and bring down house prices because they “live like animals”
– He used offensive slurs against black people, Pakistanis and Turks, and Eastern Europeans
– He also bragged of serving repeated bans from football matches, and violently attacking opposition supporters
– A Brexit Party regional assistant manager also used racist language saying Muslims are “outbreeding us” and countries that ban them need fewer police, prison and health services
– Brexit Party’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Blackburn, Rick Moore, listened to the boasts about burying a pig’s head under a mosque, but says he doesn’t recall the conversation

An undercover Channel 4 News investigation has exposed shocking racism and prejudice inside Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party by central figures campaigning to win the key target seat of Hartlepool.

Party activists in the campaign to elect Brexit Party chairman Richard Tice to Parliament were caught on camera using a series of offensive slurs against Muslims, black people, Pakistanis and Turks.

One activist, local Brexit Party councillor David Mincher, complained Muslims were “outbreeding us”  and “live like animals”, and boasted he once tried to bury a pig’s head under a mosque that was being built in the town.

Undercover reporters working for Channel 4 News spent three weekends volunteering with the Brexit Party’s campaigners in Hartlepool where entrepreneur Mr Tice is hoping to overturn Labour’s majority.

The team filmed Mr Mincher, a prominent local activist, as he went canvassing in the town, representing the party and urging the public to vote for Mr Tice. But between knocking on doors he made a slew of racist comments.

Mr Mincher said: “We tried to put a big pig’s head in the concrete. We got over the fence. You know, when people were doing the groundwork. They had all the bouncers who do all the North East, were doing the security for that mosque. So when we got in they caught us. Just f***ing kicked us out.

“Because we were going to take a video with a pig’s head under their concrete. Let them finish it. Let it all get built. And then just send the video and say, ‘Look there, there you go, you’ve got a f***ing pig’s head under your mosque there so you’ll have to get it all knocked down and redone again’. Or they just leave it, cos it’s desecrated ground innit?”

Mr Mincher recounted the story about the pig’s head repeatedly, including once in the company of Rick Moore, who is standing to become a Member of Parliament for the Brexit Party in Blackburn.

When Mr Mincher said: “We were going to video putting the pigs’ heads in the concrete”, Mr Moore replied, “Yeah”. Before Mr Mincher added: “But they just ended up some of the young’uns come round putting them on the spikes around the railings.”

Mr Moore did not object during the exchange but in a statement told Channel 4 News he was “mentally tired” after working and campaigning over long hours, had “switched off” from what Mr Mincher was saying, did not recall the conversation and was “feigning attention”.

He said: “I do not endorse his behaviour, and I can only apologise for not paying attention to what was being said to me at the time so that I could have taken action. I hope that Mr Mincher is dismissed from the party.”

Mr Mincher also made other racial slurs against Muslims. He said: “They’re outbreeding us… As soon as they get into one or two houses, the prices go down for the rest of the street. So they then go like right, ‘Like we’ll buy that house next door now they’ve moved out’. It’s all a knock-on effect isn’t it? Next door move out first because they don’t want them next door, because they live like animals.”

Mr Mincher was elected as a UKIP councillor in May but later switched to the Brexit Party. He is part of a pro-Brexit coalition between the Brexit Party and Conservatives that is now Hartlepool Borough Council’s largest political group.

The councillor made a series of offensive slurs against a number of other ethnic groups. Referring to the Turkish population, he said: “The Turks are the biggest f***ing heroin dealers in the country… F***ing all they’re doing is f***ing cleaning the money off the heroin and all that, aren’t they, the f***ing Turks.”

Mr Mincher also used derogatory terms against black people, saying: “Cos you’re getting more of the f***ing blacks and all, you know, the proper blacks from Somalia and all that. Cos you can tell the Somalians, they’re like skinny blacks aren’t they?”

And he used racist language against Pakistanis and Asians, saying: “Nearly all of Middlesbrough is P***s. Boro’s f***ing rife with all the f***ing Asians now like.”

Mr Mincher also bragged of being repeatedly banned from football matches, and said he was currently barred from matches for five years. He claimed the Brexit Party is aware of his past, but were “fine” with the offending “as long as I haven’t been to jail”.

He recalled one violent attack: “I didn’t even f***ing shout or anything. I just f***ing dropped three from behind. I just went f***ing windmill right in the three. Dropped them all.”

The Brexit Party’s chairman and Hartlepool candidate, Mr Tice, was not present when Mr Mincher  was filmed making his derogatory comments, or recounting his violence, but Mr Tice was filmed admitting he had met the councillor, and praised him for his “commitment to the cause” of  the Brexit Party.

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage has previously insisted his new party has no place for racist and offensive views. He said: “I think that UKIP and the Brexit Party are very different. And I don’t think that Middle England, decent people, want to vote for a political party that is linked to extremism, violence, criminal records, and thuggery. That’s why I left UKIP.”

And last week, in his interview with the BBC’s Andrew Neil he said: “Any attempt that gets made to try and paint the Brexit Party into being a right-wing political party that would harbour anybody with extreme views is completely and utterly wrong.”

Channel 4 News also obtained footage of Gordon Parkin, who claims to be the Brexit Party’s assistant manager for the North East region. The activist was filmed covertly inside the Hartlepool campaign’s office making a series of derogatory remarks against Muslims.

He said: “Look at certain other countries, who will not accept Muslims… They don’t need a quarter of the prisons that we need. They don’t need a quarter of the policeman that we need. They don’t need a quarter of the health services we need.”

He added: “…most of them were f***king born here. And that’s what they’re doing. They’re outbreeding us. And they will tell you themselves. I’ve heard them say it…‘Oh we’ll outbreed you in X number of years, so you’ve lost already’. And we have.”

And he appeared to laugh after saying black people and immigrants are discriminated against.

He said: “Now in Hartlepool, they don’t like coloured people. I tell you now, as you’re walking around, watch the taxi drivers, you won’t see a black man.” Asked why there are comparatively few immigrants in the town, he replied: “They won’t have them. They f***ing persecute the bastards.”

Mr Parkin said he had previously been involved with UKIP for at least 15 years. In 2015 he faced an investigation by the party for sharing posts, including by the far-right political organisation Britain First. He claimed at the time the posts were shared by accident, and deleted them.

The Brexit Party attracted widespread support after its launch in April, but has suffered a torrid election campaign with Nigel Farage bowing to pressure to not stand candidates in 317 seats. The party’s support has dwindled in the polls, and last week four of its high-profile MEPs quit.

Mr Mincher said he made up the story about burying a pig’s head “as a stupid act of showing off to your reporter”. He added: “I realise how much I need to change my attitude to others.”

He said: “The football banning orders were put on myself for threatening words and behaviour. The Brexit party and Hartlepool borough council did not overlook my bans but received legal advice on where they legally stood.”

He said he had today resigned as councillor.

The Brexit Party today said it had removed the whip from Mr Mincher and dismissed Mr Parkin.

Richard Tice, chairman of the Brexit Party, said: “Channel 4 alerted us late on Friday of some appalling comments made to one of its many undercover reporter teams who have been following the Brexit Party. We took immediate action within hours by removing the whip from an independently elected local councillor, who had come over to the Brexit Party in September; we also dismissed a semi retired part time employee of a regional office. Furthermore the allegations made by the local councillor in question against the Brexit Party are totally denied.

“Both I and the Brexit Party totally condemn the hideous remarks in question in the strongest possible terms. I would take the gravest exception to any attempt by Channel 4 to suggest that I or the Brexit Party in any way share, condone or was aware of these views and matters.

“Separately, we have CCTV evidence and written statements proving some of Channel 4’s undercover reporters were impersonating as Brexit Party canvassers, wearing our rosettes and engaging in canvassing activity. Following discussion with our lawyers, it is believed that Channel 4 and its reporters may have breached electoral laws under the Representation of the People Act 1983 and Electoral Commission rules, as well as breaching Ofcom’s rules. It appears that they still have other undercover reporters following us.

“Grave and appalling as the reported comments are – which we have immediately dealt with – it comes as no surprise that Channel 4 continues its attempts to smear leading Brexiteers like myself, including last week against the Prime Minister himself. Channel 4 appears to have abandoned all pretence of impartiality, in clear breach of its obligations in General Election reporting. They are clearly willing to go to the most extreme lengths to try to discredit well known Brexiteers and indeed Brexit itself.”

Mr Parkin did not provide a response.