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Farage party asked to prove its candidates were not AI bots – media

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

© Getty Images / Ian West – PA Images

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

Reform won four seats in last week’s vote and garnered more than 4 million votes.

Doubts about some of the party’s 609 election hopefuls were first raised on social media, where users questioned the photos on Reform UK’s campaign flyers, claiming they appeared AI-generated. Others noted that many of the candidates had no biographies available online or contact details beyond generic email addresses and almost no social media or other digital footprint.

Many of the posts questioning the authenticity of the candidates went viral, and several British news outlets picked up the story, launching their own probes into the claims.

So far, no evidence has emerged that any of the Reform candidates were fake. However, one candidate, Mark Matlock admitted his campaign flyer picture was doctored, telling The Independent that he couldn’t do a photoshoot wearing party colors in time. He also said he couldn’t attend campaign functions due to illness.

READ MORE: Tory heavyweights lose seats in election wipeout

There has been no official action against the party, but according to The Guardian, the Liberal Democrats have demanded that Reform make public the details about some of its more elusive 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 categorically denied reports his party used AI bots and insisted that all of its candidates were real. Speaking to the Peston program on ITV late on Monday, Tice accused the mass media of spreading “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 stated.

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