Reform candidate 'called for Nicola Sturgeon to be shot'

Robert Smith targeted several high-profile women and referred to them as a 'b****', according to reports.

A Reform UK candidate standing in Scotland called for Nicola Sturgeon to be shot, according to reports.

Robert Smith is said to have targeted several high-profile women on social media between 2016 and last year.

The Times reported that in one outburst responding to a post in 2020 from Harry Potter author JK Rowling drinking tea, he replied calling her a “wild b****”.

In another post, he called Christine Lagarde, the president of the European Central Bank, “head b**** of the globalists”.

The newspaper said it found posts from Smith using slurs against LGBT people, likening the rainbow symbol used on NHS posters during Covid to “the new swastika”.

Nigel Farage's party has been dogged by allegations of racism, sexism and homophobia.Getty Images

He shared a post in 2016, according to The Times, about Sturgeon, saying: “Since the great David Attenborough legitimised calls for political leaders to be shot, why not start with this b****?”.

In another, he called the former first minister a “silly crawling b****” before continuing to make similar comments days later.

He reportedly went on to target numerous other public figures with disparaging comments.

Reform UK chair Richard Tice described the insults as “appalling”, but said, “like anybody, we make some mistakes”.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “Obviously appalling, absolutely appalling. But I’m very clear, we’re a new political party. We’ve been growing fast. Of course, like anybody, we make some mistakes. The thing is, we admit them and we move on and we change and we learn from them. That’s what we’re doing.

“People are recognising that.”

Smith is the latest candidate from Reform UK to have been reported to have made offensive comments.

Last month, it was reported that the party’s candidate in Aberdeenshire North and Moray East described the Royal Family as “benefit scroungers” in a rant against the monarchy.

South of the border, Channel 4 filmed Reform campaigners using homophobic and racist slurs.

A Reform UK campaigner used a racial slur against Rishi Sunak, who is of Indian heritage.Getty Images

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he was “hurt and angry” that a Reform campaigner was filmed calling him a “p***”.

Reform leader Nigel Farage accused Channel 4 of a “set-up”,  an assertion the broadcaster has strenuously denied.

He has previously said “bad apples” will be removed from the party, which he said had been “let down” by a vetting company hired to assess candidates.

The party has suffered two defections to the Tories recently with West Ham and Beckton candidate Georgie David claiming the “vast majority” of her fellow candidates are “racist, misogynistic and bigoted”.

Tice accused the Conservatives of offering candidates “jobs and safe seats” to lure them away.

Reform candidates who have had their support removed by the party or who have elected not to run will still appear on ballot papers.

A full list of candidates standing in Scotland at the General Election on July 4 can be found here.

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