Reform UK real candidates

Inside the wild conspiracy forcing Reform UK to validate whether candidates are real people

‘I am not AI’


In potentially the wildest curveball that has come out of the days following the General Election, Reform UK has been faced with pressure to validate whether some of its candidates are real people after numerous standing were doing so without photos, biographies or contact details. Reform UK says all 609 of its candidates are absolutely real people.

However, Reform UK also say that it “accepts” some of them are “paper candidates” that did no campaigning for the election and were there to boost the vote share. The Lib Dems demanded “This doesn’t sound right and Reform should come clean with evidence. We need Reform to show who they are. People need to have faith in the democratic process.”

According to the actual electoral rules, candidates only need to say their full names, where they live, have an agent and be nominated by 10 local votes. A Reform source said: “All our candidates are categorically real. Given the rush, a few are just paper candidates and didn’t campaign. Some people began as paper candidates but then did campaign, and one of these – James McMurdock in South Basildon and East Thurrock – ended up winning his seat.”

One candidate, Mark Matlock, has had to validate his identity after his Reform UK picture was accused of being made via AI, leading to further speculation candidates might not be real. He never showed up to the election count results, either.

After being faced with a mammoth amount of allegations, Mark Matlock validated himself to the Independent, saying “I am a real person and that is me in the photo,” he confirmed. “Though I must admit I am enjoying the free publicity and when I feel up to it I will put out a video and prove these rumours that I’m a robot are absolute baloney.

“I got pneumonia three days before election night I was exercising taking vitamins so I could attend but it was just not viable. On election night I couldn’t even stand.

“The photo of me was taken outside the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. I had the background removed and replaced with the logo and they changed the colour of my tie. The only reason that was done was because we couldn’t get a photographer at such short notice – but that is me.”

The actual Mark Matlock

He’s seen the funny side though, saying the whole thing just makes him laugh.

Another person has made it her goal to find Reform UK Glasgow North candidate Helen Burns, who has not yet been identified.

Content creator Kim Blythe went down to London following the address found on the Reform UK website to try and find the candidate, but the office isn’t real – apparently it’s a “virtual office”. It’s unclear why there is an actual office address in London listed.

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