Calls for Brexit Party candidate to be dropped for ‘dressing up like a Nazi’ for music band

Nigel Farage with Graham Cushway. Photograph: Twitter.

Nigel Farage with Graham Cushway. Photograph: Twitter. - Credit: Archant

The Brexit Party has been urged to drop a candidate after it was revealed he used to be part of a heavy metal band which was named and styled after Luftwaffe pilots.

Graham Cushway (second left) in the band Stuka Squadron.

Graham Cushway (second left) in the band Stuka Squadron. - Credit: Archant

Graham Cushway, who recently complained he was receiving 'dog poo' parcels since announcing his candidacy, was once a founding member of the band the Stuka Squadron.

The name, taken from the World War II fighter plane, saw the bands dress as "vampire Luftwaffe" pilots - complete with the leather jackets, goggles, and accessories similar to Nazi officers.

But the attire included vampire fangs, as part of their "satirical" take on the Luftwaffe.

The group has always insisted that "no band member has ever been affiliated to any extreme right or left wing movement, has or had any interest in or sympathy for extreme politics."

Cushway, who previously stood for UKIP and once was an army reservist, recently was unveiled at event as part of Nigel Farage's 500 Brexit Party candidates.

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After the revelations about his former band were revealed by Hope Not Hate his Labour rival in Brighton Kempton, Lloyd Russell-Moyle, called for Cushway to be dropped as a candidate.

He said: "It is pretty abhorrent to appear in a Luftwaffe heavy metal tribute band and to dress up as a Nazi.

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"Graham says to me that it was a parody but I don't find it funny and I don't think voters will either.

"Yet again the Brexit Party selects someone with a dodgy past and he now should be considering his position."

But Cushway told Politics Home that the Labour candidate had misunderstood the band's "complex back-story".

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He said: "It is entirely true that I performed in the art-house heavy metal band Stuka Squadron, which involved a complex back-story in which we were vampires who were also luftwaffe pilots.

"I am disappointed that Lloyd Russell-Moyle MP has decided to take this position. As he is entirely aware, the band was entirely satirical in nature.

"I can only conclude that his attempt to twist what was essentially comedic performance art into some sort of serious message reflects his desperation at being faced by a candidate genuinely representing the millions of Leave voters betrayed by the Labour Party and by Lloyd Russell-Moyle MP himself.

"The band's message was fully understood at all times by our audience to consist of satire or references to the genre.

"It should also be understood that we spoke in a heavy metal lexicon, the meaning of which is not always apparent to those outside of the genre.

"The insignia shown on the tie for instance was intended as a reference to the band Slayer and was, perhaps naively, not intended to have any further significance.

"The band had and has no links to any extreme right or left wing movements and no political agenda of any kind."

Last month Brexit Party MEP Ann Widdecombe was criticised for defending a former Nazi concentration camp guard claiming he should not be put on trial.

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