A Reform UK candidate standing in a Scottish constituency advocated for Nicola Sturgeon to be shot and called JK Rowling a “wild bitch”, it has been reported.  

Robert Smith, the party’s candidate in Orkney & Shetland, posted a series of hateful and slur-laden posts on social media, mostly targeting women journalists and politicians.  

He called Christine Lagarde, the president of the European Central Bank, “head bitch of the globalists” and told female reporters that men would not want to sleep with them. 

In tirade on Twitter/X he targeted Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission.  

In another he used slurs against gays and lesbians. He also likened the rainbow symbol used on posters supporting the NHS during Covid as “the new swastika”. 

The social media posts, unearthed by The Times, are the latest in a number of controversial comments made by Reform candidates. 

Nicola Sturgeon Nicola Sturgeon (Image: PA)

Nigel Farage, the party’s leader, pledged to put the party under “much stricter control”, and has apologised for candidates who “should never, ever have been there”. 

But it is too late to take their names off ballot papers and they will stand for the party in the general election on Thursday.  

Ann Widdecombe, a spokeswoman for the party, said that sexist language was “unacceptable”.  

Smith’s comments were made between 2016 and last year. In one post from 2016 he shared an article about Nicola Sturgeon and said: “Since the great David Attenborough legitimised calls for political leaders to be shot, why not start with this bitch?”.  

In another, from 2020, he called the former Scottish first minister a “silly crawling bitch” and in another post four days later calls her “the silly bitch”. 

Replying to a 2020 post from JK Rowling, the Harry Potter author and women’s rights campaigner, in which she said she was drinking Yorkshire Tea, Smith called her a “wild bitch”. 

Also in 2020, he replied to the Talk journalist Julia Hartley-Brewer on Twitter/X suggesting she wanted to have sex with him, and called Kay Burley, the Sky News journalist, a “hypocritical bitch”.  

Ursula von der LeyenUrsula von der Leyen (Image: PA)

He also described the journalist Andrew Marr, Sir Keir Starmer and Sadiq Khan, the London mayor, using degrading sexual imagery. 

In 2021 he used the c-word to describe a reporter, David Attenborough and Tom Harwood, the GB News journalist, who he also said was “the prince of prickhood”. 

He said Covid vaccines are for gay people – though he used a slur - and described the LGBT community in further derogatory terms. 

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In the same year he repeatedly attacked von der Leyen with language The Times chose not to publish. 

Last year, he called the former Countdown presenter Carol Vorderman a “silly bint” and told a woman on Twitter/X: “I doubt he’d shag you either so you better try elsewhere.” 

Last week the BBC reported on other candidates making offensive remarks about women in the past, including accusing a woman dancing in a music video of “behaving like a gutter slut” and referring to one woman as a “malignant old hag”.  

Another referred to women on ITV2’s Love Island as “thick tarts” and Jo Swinson, the former leader of the Liberal Democrats, as a “gobby bird”. Another reportedly shared a photograph of a raw chicken and said it reminded him of an intimate photograph of his girlfriend. 

But Widdecombe said women should still vote for the party. She said the comments were “completely unacceptable” but said the problem “was not unique to us”. She said: “I’m not going to have us branded as some sort of naturally racist and misogynist party, because we’re not.” 

She told Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, that Reform “believe quite fiercely in guarding women’s ­spaces” such as changing rooms and toilets from transgender people and said there would be better childcare support for families. 

Reform UK is standing in many constituenciesReform UK is standing in many constituencies (Image: PA)

Widdecombe “took issue” with allegations of sexism and racism. “It’s perfectly true that in all parties, you sometimes get bad apples. And it’s also true that some slipped through the vetting processes.” 

But she said “when anything like that does come to light, [Farage] goes into action immediately and expels that person.” 

She added: “When I was a Conservative, I got exactly the same allegations. So people were saying to me ‘your party is racist’ or ‘your party is sexist’. Now, actually, you know, none of the parties can talk much about sexism because there have been scandals all throughout Westminster, throughout this administration on both sides of the House, involving poor behaviour towards women. 

“So I really don’t think that anybody can point a finger. We are a brand new party. There are going to be some people that we don’t want. When we find them, we’ll get rid of them.” 

Farage told Times Radio: “This is a start-up party. I took it over a month ago. There were some people there that should never, ever have been there, and I’m sorry for that. 

“And nobody is angrier than I am, particularly as we’re doing so well with black and ethnic minority voters. Yes, some bad apples in a start-up. They’re gone and I won’t have anyone like it in the future in the party. I’m going to put this thing under a much, much stricter control.” 

Lib Dem candidate for Orkney and Shetland Alistair Carmichael said: “There can be no defending comments like these.  Politics has to be better than this.  This is not how we do politics in the Northern Isles and I am confident that the voters on Thursday will demonstrate this."