What has Reform UK’s new leader Nigel Farage said about LGBTQ+ rights?

Nigel Farage speaking at an event.

Nigel Farage, who has said he’s “leading a political revolt” while announcing he’s taking over as leader of Rerform UK and standing as a candidate in the upcoming general election, has a record of less-than-favourable comments about LGBTQ+ rights. 

Farage announced on Monday (3 June) that he will take over from Richard Tice as leader of Reform UK for the next five years and will be standing as a candidate in Clacton, in Essex, at the general election in July. 

The former leader of UKIP and the Brexit Party, has stood as a candidate in seven previous general elections but never won a seat – including in 2010, finishing behind independent candidate John Stevens in Buckingham, whose most famous campaigner was a man dressed as a dolphin.

In announcing his return, Farage said he wanted a “political revolt”. 

He added: “Yes, a revolt. A turning of our backs on the political status quo. It doesn’t work. Nothing in this country works any more.”

Farage has already aired his intention to campaign on immigration with “net migration at zero” being his target, but what are his views on the queer community. 

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What has Nigel Farage said about LGBTQ+ rights? 

Reform UK says it aims to ban “transgender ideology”, and Farage is known for his right-wing views on immigration, refugees, multi-culturalism and political correctness, which is now labelled by many as ‘wokeness’. 

In 2013, when Farage was UKIP’s leader, he said he wouldn’t expel members for voicing “old-fashioned” views about homosexuality, including those who describe it as “disgusting”.

The following year he said: ”I do not support same-sex marriages… while we’re under the auspices of the European Court of Human Rights. Come out of Europe, and we can have a sensible debate about same-sex marriages and how we conduct it.”

Leader of The Brexit Party Nigel Farage appears on The Andrew Marr Show on May 11, 2019 in London, England.
Nigel Farage will now stand as a candidate in the general election. (Jeff Overs/BBC via Getty)

In 2019, Farage said people living with HIV should not be able to enter the UK, claiming that the country is “incapable” of treating people with the virus because of immigration.

He has also previously said Margaret Thatcher’s “open-mindedness” was responsible for today’s tolerance in British society. 

Farage, when reminded of Thatcher’s support for homophobic Section 28, which banned the ‘promotion’ of homosexuality in schools, said: “That was done because she feared some of the very, very extreme left-wing elements within the teaching union.

“But Margaret Thatcher, her period as our prime minister, was one I think of real advancement for gay people in society. They were not discriminated against the way they had been by nearly every prime minister before.”

He has also defended past comments made by Boris Johnson in which the former prime minister described gay people as “tank-topped bum boys”.

Farage insisted that the use of such terms was simply part of the “Boris brand”.

The other candidates announced in Clacton so far are: Giles Watling (Conservative), Jovan Owusu-Nepaul (Labour), Matthew Bensilum (Liberal Democrats) and Natasha Osben (Green)

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