'Death threats and abuse!' Richard Tice issues candid statement on 'disturbing' Rochdale by-election

Richard Tice

Richard Tice issues candid statement on ‘disturbing’ Rochdale by-election

GB News
Oliver Trapnell

By Oliver Trapnell

Published: 01/03/2024

- 00:50

Updated: 01/03/2024

- 04:50

The Reform UK leader made the candid admission on GB News

Richard Tice has issued a candid statement on the Rochdale by-election as he has told his staff to leave the event over safety threats.

The Reform UK leader told GB News that he believes George Galloway has won the Rochdale by-election and continued by adding that the event was not truly “free or fair” due to the behaviour of the candidates.

Tice described the campaign as having been mired by “disturbing scenes” including abuse and death threats.

He continued by saying he had removed his staff from the count for security reasons and that the Rochdale by-election must be a wake-up call for British democracy.

Asked by Tom Harwood on how Reform UK faired in the by-election prior to the results, Tice said: "Well, look, what's quite clear, Tom, is that George Galloway has won this by-election."

WATCH HERE: Richard Tice statment in full

He then continued to read out a pre-prepared statement.

Tice said: “Now the polls have closed, people across the UK need to know the truth about this election campaign - and the implications for our democracy.

“To suggest that a parliamentary election in this country has not been truly free and fair is a very serious allegation indeed.

“Unfortunately however, the behaviour of certain candidates and their supporters in this contest fell very far short of this our traditional democratic standards. What we have witnessed and experienced in Rochdale is deeply disturbing.

“In recent weeks, Reform UK’s candidate and campaign team has: been subjected to death threats; suffered vile racist abuse; been refused entry to hustings in a public building; had to be relocated for their own safety; suffered daily intimidation and slurs.

“In one incident, Reform UK business supporters were threatened with a firebomb attack if they distributed our leaflets.


Reform UK concedes deafeat

Reform UK concedes defeat in Rochdale by-election

GB News

“Menacing behaviour was a feature of the entire campaign, including outside polling stations on the day of the election itself.

“In this ugliest of contests, we are also concerned by the sudden increase in the size of the postal vote, which has jumped from 14,000 to some 23,000 in this constituency since the last general election.

“The results of the Rochdale by-election should act as a stark wake-up call to those in power – and the entire electorate.

“This is Britain. We are supposed to be a beacon of democracy. This shameful contest has been more characteristic of a failed state.

“Unless something dramatic changes, our fear is that it will be repeated in dozens of constituencies across the UK at the general election. By Christmas, we face the prospect of numerous extremist anti-Semitic lawmakers in the House of Commons.”

Rochdale by-electionThe by-election in Rochdale was sparked after veteran Labour MP Sir Tony Lloyd died on January 17PA

The by-election in Rochdale was sparked after veteran Labour MP Sir Tony Lloyd died on January 17 just days after announcing he had an incurable form of leukaemia.

In 2019, Lloyd snatched victory with a healthy majority of just under 10,000 votes and a share of more than 51 per cent.

Eleven candidates were on the ballot Azhar Ali (Labour), Mark Coleman (Independent), Simon Danczuk (Reform UK), Iain Donaldson (Lib Dems), Paul Ellison (Conservative), George Galloway (Workers Party), Michael Howarth (Independent), William Howarth (Independent), Guy Otten (Green Party), Ravin Rodent Subortna (Monster Raving Loony Party), David Tully (Independent).

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