THE majority of Reform UK’s General Election candidates are “not political sophisticates”, Nigel Farage has insisted amid a car crash interview on Good Morning Britain.

The Reform leader struggled as he was challenged on reports that 41 of his party’s candidates were “friends” on Facebook with British neo-fascist leader Gary Raikes, the founder of the New British Union.

Farage repeatedly insisted that his candidates are not politically savvy and when “they see a comment on Facebook, they like it”.

But GMB host Susanna Reid pointed out that Reform’s candidates had not liked a stray comment from Raikes, but were actively friends with him on social media.

Farage said: “Look, most of our candidates are not political sophisticates. Alright?

“Now, having said that, like the Green Party, like other parties, we've had one or two slip through the net that shouldn't have done.

“There will be a story coming out at lunchtime today where you'll hear that we paid a very large sum of money to a reputable vetting company who didn't do the work.

“So, yes, we've got one or two problems, but people liking each other on Facebook, I’m sorry but I don’t take that seriously.”

He added: “People like each other on Facebook without knowing who they're liking.”

Raikes's Facebook profile is topped by a large banner showing former British fascist leader Oswald Mosley with the words "forward with fascism".

Reid told Farage that “knowing who your friends are is quite an important test of your character”, adding: “I am not friends with any fascist leaders on Facebook. I can absolutely assure you of that.”

The Reform leader responded: “No, and you're a highly paid London political sophisticate. A lot of our people aren't. They see a comment on Facebook, they like it.”

The GMB questioning then moved onto Reform candidate Ian Gribbin, who claimed the UK should have accepted Adolf Hitler’s offer of neutrality and let the Nazis storm Europe.

Asked if he was proud to call Gribbin and the others Reform candidates, Farage said: “By the way, people are allowed, you know, in a free society people are allowed to have different opinions.

READ MORE: 'Over-use' of right-wing guests on Question Time revealed in new research

“I disagree vehemently that we should not have participated in World War Two. But once your name’s on the ballot paper, it can't be removed.”

Pushed again if he was “proud” of his candidates, Farage said: “I just told you twice. I disagree vehemently.”

Later on Tuesday, Farage said his party has been the victim of an “establishment stitch-up” and is considering suing after paying it £144,000 to scrutinise more than 400 of its candidates in April.

On GMB, under questioning from Ed Balls on the tax cuts outlined in Reform’s manifesto, which was published on Monday, Farage repeatedly refused to state that someone earning £95,000 a year would benefit more in cash terms than someone on the average or minimum wage.

Instead, he would only say that “if you earn more money, you earn more money”.

READ MORE: Reform UK: What is in Nigel Farage's bonkers manifesto?

On Monday, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) had warned that the “the sums in [Reform’s] manifesto do not add up”.

Carl Emmerson, a deputy director at the IFS, said: “Reform UK proposes tax cuts that it estimates would cost nearly £90 billion per year, and spending increases of £50bn per year. It claims that it would pay for these through £150bn per year of reductions in other spending, covering public services, debt interest and working-age benefits.

He added: “The package as a whole is problematic. Spending reductions would save less than stated, and the tax cuts would cost more than stated, by a margin of tens of billions of pounds per year.”

Reform leader Nigel Farage defended his candidates for being Facebook friends with a fascist leader

Farage’s appearance on GMB was widely panned on social media, with LBC host James O’Brien writing: “It's always someone else's fault.

“His so-called 'party' is a limited company in which he is the majority shareholder. How can the buck stop with anyone but him?”

Politics professor Tim Bale quipped: “I'm no expert but perhaps handing over 'a very large sum of money' to a vetting company who then 'didn't do the job properly' doesn't exactly bode well for a party planning to finance its programme by eliminating waste in government.”

Guardian reporter Kevin Rawlinson added: “Nigel Farage is suggesting it’s fine his candidates are friends with fascists on Facebook because his candidates aren’t clever enough to work out how to use Facebook.

“He also seems to suggest it’s ok to agree with fascists’ views as long as you didn’t know they were fascists.”