Media Question Authenticity of Reform UK Candidates, Alleging AI-Generated Images and Lack of Online Presence

Some nominees from Reform UK reportedly had no online presence and used digitally rendered campaign photos

Nigel Farage’s Euroskeptic, anti-immigration Reform UK party is facing scrutiny to prove that none of its candidates in the recent general election were AI bots, British media reported on Monday.

Reform secured four seats in last week’s election and garnered over 4 million votes.

Concerns regarding the authenticity of some of the party’s 609 election candidates were initially raised on social media, where users questioned the photos on Reform UK’s campaign flyers, alleging they appeared AI-generated. Others observed that many of the candidates lacked online biographies or contact details beyond generic email addresses and exhibited minimal social media or other digital presence.

Many of the posts questioning the authenticity of the candidates gained significant online traction, prompting several British news outlets to investigate the claims.

Thus far, no evidence has surfaced indicating that any of the Reform candidates were fake. However, one candidate, Mark Matlock, acknowledged that his campaign flyer photo was altered, explaining to The Independent that he couldn’t participate in a photoshoot wearing party colors in time. He also stated that he couldn’t attend campaign functions due to illness.

While no formal action has been taken against the party, according to The Guardian, the Liberal Democrats have demanded that Reform disclose the details about some of its less visible candidates.

“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,” a source for the party told the outlet.

Reform UK chairman Richard Tice has emphatically denied reports that his party employed AI bots and asserted that all of its candidates were genuine. Speaking on the Peston program on ITV late on Monday, Tice accused the mass media of disseminating “utter trash” about his party.

“It’s a total fabricated lie that is nothing short of defamatory, libelous and utterly outrageous. I’m steaming mad about it,” he declared.