The Brexit Party candidate for Birmingham Ladywood, Andrew Garcarz, has been accused of spreading Islamophobic and anti-Semitic views on social media.
Screenshots obtained by anti-racist campaigners Hope not Hate and seen by Birmingham Live show he claimed “Islam is the problem here” in a post about terrorism.
Comparing Islamist terrorism to terrorism carried out by the IRA, he said four years ago: “Catholicism whilst a brainwashing cult does not advocate the extermination of non Catholics. Islam is the problem here. And until we destroy them the world will never be a safe place”.
In an August 2018 post complaining about white people being accused of racism, he said: “You mug us, carjack us, groom and rape our children. But, when white police officers arrest a black gang member, an Asian drug dealer or an Asian grooming gang that represents a threat to our society, you call them racist.”
He also promoted a conspiracy theory known as the Coudenhove-Kalegri plan, which claims there is a secret plot to destroy the white race in Europe through immigration, leading to a Europe that is dominated by Jews.
In a Facebook post from June 2016, Mr Garcarz said: “The residents of the future ‘United States of Europe’ will not be the People of the Old Continent but a kind of sub-humans, products of miscegenation”.
Miscegenation refers to different racial groups mixing and having children. It is a word that is no longer commonly used in the UK.
Mr Garcarz went on to explain that the Coudenhove-Kalegri plan is designed to create people “easily controlled by the ruling elite”. Jews had become “the spiritual nobility of Europe”, he said.
Count Richard von Coudenhove-Kalergi was a supporter of European integration who wrote a book about the subject in 1923 and created a body called the International Paneuropean Union.
Speaking to Birmingham Live, Mr Garcarz said: “It was an article that I read which was referring to an organisation set up by Coudenhove-Kalegri.
“The only reason I referred to it was because it could be likened to the EU immigration rules that were encouraging people from all over the world to come into the European Union. There was a similarity between what Kalegri was saying in his outline for a pan-European society and an equivalence with the European Union.
“I didn’t endorse it, I don’t condone it. I think some of the comments Kalegri made that are potentially anti-Semitic I disagree with entirely. I was highlighting the fact that there was a similarity not that I supported it or that I agreed with it.
“It is a non-story, When you put yourself up for election there are people who will trawl back tears and years and look for the most obscure thing and try to make a story about it.”
Asked about the comment about Islam and terrorism, he said: “I have no recollection of that at all.”
Asked about his comment about racism, he said: “It was probably a response to something on Facebook that – I expressed an opinion that it’s okay for Scots to be out proud and patriotic, it’s okay for Welsh people. But when we try to be patriotic as English people we are called racist.”
Birmingham Live has also invited the Brexit Party’s official spokesman to comment.
A Hope not Hate spokesperson said: “Only Nigel Farage would put forward as prejudiced an individual as Andrew Garcarz to be a Brexit Party candidate in one of the most diverse and multicultural cities in the country.
“This is open and unashamed racism. It shows exactly how arrogant they are and how little respect they have for the people of Birmingham, that they would think this is someone fit to represent the city in Parliament.
“There is absolutely no question that Andrew Garcarz must be withdrawn as a candidate immediately and serious questions asked of Nigel Farage. Yet again the dangerous and divisive Brexit Party has shown it doesn’t deserve anyone’s vote on December 12th.”