NIGEL Farage’s Reform party has stood by a candidate who said the UK should have remained neutral as Adolf Hitler’s Nazis stormed Europe – suggesting he had been “pointing out conveniently forgotten truths”.

The party backed Ian Gribbin, the Reform candidate in Bexhill and Battle, after the BBC revealed his comments, which were mostly made in 2022.

As well as saying the UK should have "taken Hitler up on his offer of neutrality", Gribbin also said Winston Churchill had been “abysmal” and praised Russian president Vladimir Putin for showing “a maturity of which we can only dream of”.

Gribbin said that Putin "understands the bonds that create more stable societies; the hypocrisy of the West is preposterous as we stare in the face daily the enormous economic equalities created by our deluded neo liberal ideas.”

Elsewhere, he said of Putin: “If only the West had politicians of his class.”

Gribbin also said women should be “deprived of health care” until male and female life expectancies align, called women the “sponging gender”, and said that “on aggregate as a group [women] only take from society”.

He also said that female soldiers "almost made me wretch [sic]" and were a "total liability".

Defending his comments on women, a Reform spokesperson told the BBC that they had been tongue-in-cheek.

And defending Gribbin’s views on whether the UK should have gone to war against Hitler, Reform said they were “probably true”.

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A Reform UK spokesperson told the BBC: "Through offence archaeology the BBC has found that Mr Gribbin has made a series of comments about a number of subjects.

"They were written with an eye to inconvenient perspectives and truths. That doesn't make them endorsements, just arguing points in long distance debates.

"His historical perspective of what the UK could have done in the 30s was shared by the vast majority of the British establishment including the BBC of its day, and is probably true.

"Again no endorsement, just pointing out conveniently forgotten truths.

"As for the feminism point, his tongue is so firmly in his cheek one should be able to spot it from 100 yards."