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Reform candidate defends Hitler remarks

Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire/PA Images

Since the return of Nigel Farage, Reform UK has been going from strength to strength. Last week a YouGov survey for the Times saw the Farage-founded group overtake the Tories in the polls for the first time. Today JL Partners’s research has found that since the arch-Brexiteer’s comeback, Rishi Sunak’s popularity has dropped to pre-election lows. But it’s not all been plain sailing for Reform UK. Now the party’s Welwyn Hatfield candidate has come under fire for comments he made in relation to a pseudoscientific theory about multiple personality types – in which he described Adolf Hitler as ‘brilliant’ and ‘able to inspire people to action’. Oh dear…

And there’s more. It turns out that in online comments over the last four years Aaron – who founded the World Socionics Society, which promotes a theory that there are 16 personality types – has also called Syrian dictator President Assad ‘gentle by nature’ and described Putin’s ‘motivation to acquire and wield force’ in Ukraine as ‘legitimate’. The Reform man is standing against defence secretary and Tory incumbent Grant Shapps, who is expected to lose his seat to Labour despite achieving a majority of 11,000 in 2019 – while recent surveys suggest Reform could take around 12 per cent of the vote share. But rather than back down over his comments, the Welwyn Hatfield candidate has defended many of his remarks, telling the Times that:

Yes, Hitler was as brilliant as he was utter evil. How is that controversial to say, given that he was able to turn the Germans to such destructive acts, including killing many members of my own family? I strongly believe, as a psychologist, in separating intelligence and talent from morality, so that we can adequately diagnose problems and help people.

Aaron is the second Reform UK candidate to have been involved in a Hitler-related comment scandal, after Ian Gribbin was caught out for remarks he made on UnHerd’s website in 2022. The Bexhill and Battle candidate apologised last week for writing that ‘Britain would be in a far better state today had we taken Hitler up on his offer of neutrality’. Good heavens…

With Farage at the helm, the party is only seeing positive progress in the polls right now. When quizzed today, the former Ukip leader laid the blame at the door of the vetting company his party used, telling journalists that he had been ‘let down’ after spending ‘an inordinate sum of money’ on a company which ‘did not complete a piece of work’. How very curious. And will these incidents dent Reform’s support? Stay tuned…

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Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to or message @MrSteerpike

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