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Ann Widdecombe has launched a staunch defence of Reform UK just days before the General Election, as the party faces fresh accusation of "racism".

Georgie David became the second Reform candidate to defect to the Conservative Party, amid allegations of racism and misogyny amongst candidates.

David, when announcing her decision to leave Reform, said that the party and its senior leadership are "not racist", but did claim that "many of the candidates" were indeed "racist, misogynistic and bigoted".

A Reform UK spokesman said they were "very disappointed" with her course of action, adding that Miss David was "a last minute addition" to their candidate list.

Reacting to the defection and David's claims, party spokesperson Ann Widdecombe said the former candidate "probably hasn't met the majority of the candidates" she is accusing of being "racist and bigoted".

Widdecombe told GB News: "She won't have met the great majority of candidates. In fact, she will have met very few. So I don't think she can sensibly say that."

Widdecombe also noted that the party was "expecting" defections and accusations to be aimed at Reform ahead of the election.

She added: "We expected this - it happened to us in the Brexit Party. There has also been tremendous pressure from the Tory party on individual candidates to stand down, stand aside. And we therefore knew something like this was going to happen.

"But if you actually look at her statements and challenge them, as I hope somebody will, how many of our candidates has she met?"

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Acknowledging that there are some "bad apples" amongst the Reform UK candidates, Widdecombe stated that the vetting company which helped select people to represent them "did not do the job they expected".

Widdecombe revealed: "The vetting company did not do the job that we expected it to do, and it failed to find things that the media and the opposition parties have found very, very quickly.

"I think the main issue is our message, and that message is being put out by very, very good and loyal and decent candidates."

Detailing the campaign tour for Reform, which was a roaring success amongst party supporters, Widdecombe affirmed that during the nine-day round trip of the country, she did not encounter any of the "horror" candidates being described.

Widdecombe stated: "I've just come off a nine-day tour of the country. I've met candidates up and down the country, north, south, east, west, and I haven't met any of these horrors.

"And some of them I would be very, very proud had I been a Conservative, to be in Parliament with them. And I would be very proud to see them in Parliament representing us.

"So I'm not denying there are some bad apples, nobody's denying that. But it doesn't apply to what David called the 'vast majority'."

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