Nigel Farage has claimed Reform UK is the victim of an “establishment stitch-up” as the party considers suing a firm it contracted to vet candidates.

The party has been hit by a series of revelations about the online activities of some of its would-be MPs, from links to a British fascist leader to suggestions the UK should have remained neutral in the fight against the Nazis and admiration of Hitler’s “brilliant” ability to inspire action.

Reform said it is consulting lawyers after paying £144,000 to scrutinise more than 400 of its candidates in April.

Party chairman Richard Tice said the firm “promised a deep dive, particularly on social media” but has delivered “absolutely nothing”.

He said he has “instructed lawyers to pursue this matter vigorously”.

General Election campaign 2024
Reform UK leader Nigel Farage said the party has been ‘stitched up’ over the vetting of its candidates (Ben Birchall/PA)

The company said its working assumption had been that it would have had the summer to complete the work.

But Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called the General Election for July 4, rather than the autumn as most in Westminster had expected.

Mr Farage told LBC Radio: “Have we had trouble with one or two candidates? Yes, we have.

“We paid a large sum of money to a well-known vetting company, and they didn’t do the work.

“We have been stitched up politically, and that’s given us problems. And I accept that and I’m sorry for that.”

He dismissed as “utter nonsense” questions about candidate Jack Aaron, who is standing against Defence Secretary Grant Shapps in Welwyn Hatfield, over comments about Hitler’s personality traits.

Mr Aaron said in a social media post in 2022 that Hitler “was basically incoherent in his writing and rationale” but was “brilliant” at using specific personality traits “to inspire people into action”.

General Election campaign 2024
Reform UK chairman Richard Tice said he has instructed lawyers (James Manning/PA)

Asked about the suggestion that Mr Aaron thought Hitler was “brilliant”, Mr Farage said: “This is utter nonsense. It’s rather like… if you asked me, you know, was Hitler a good public speaker? And I say yes – suddenly I’m a supporter.

“This is nonsense.”

Mr Aaron told The Times: “Yes, Hitler was as brilliant as he was utter evil. How is that controversial to say, given that he was able to turn the Germans to such destructive acts, including killing many members of my own family?

“I strongly believe, as a psychologist, in separating intelligence and talent from morality, so that we can adequately diagnose problems and help people.”

The Times also reported that Queen’s Park and Maida Vale candidate Angela Carter-Begbie questioned the King’s loyalty to Britain, claiming he is “under the WEF” – a reference to the World Economic Forum, which hosts the annual Davos meeting for global leaders and businesses.

She is reported to have said it is “about time King Charles show where he truly lye (sic)”, adding that she is “not a fan”.

Vetting.Com is co-owned by Colin Bloom, who was a faith adviser in Boris Johnson’s No 10, but the firm insisted it is “politically neutral”.

Mr Farage said: “This is an establishment stitch-up. The owner of the vetting company has deep links to the Tory Party and they have some serious questions to answer.”

A spokesman for said: “Some months ago, we approached all the major UK political parties offering our automated background screening services. We were delighted to be asked to help Reform.

“Everyone’s working assumption was that the election would be in the autumn, giving us the summer to complete this work.

“Given the explicit need for candidate consent, as well as our systems needing basic personal data like dates of birth, our automated software was not able to process Reform’s candidates with the data that was provided when it was provided.

“We do not intend to litigate this in public, and we send Reform our best wishes as they shake up the UK political landscape.

“Mr Bloom has not had anything to do with the UK Conservative Party since 2022 and remains politically neutral.”