Andrew Parker: Reform Canvasser Accused of Being Actor Bad Actor

Speaking on Question Time, Nigel Farage goes all in on the claim that a canvasser in Clacton-on-Sea named Andrew Parker is an actor who infiltrated his campaign with the intention of being filmed by Channel 4 News making racist comments. Via the Daily Mail:

He said: ‘We then found out, yes, actually, he is an actor. He’s worked in the past for Channel 4. On his own site he says, ‘I’m a well-spoken actor with an alter-ego, I do rough talking’.

He added: ‘Let me tell you, from the minute he turned up in that office in Clacton and I saw him, he was acting from the very start. He even says on his website, ‘hire me, I do undercover filming’.

Asked who he believed paid the man to pretend to be a Reform canvasser, Mr Farage said: ‘It may well have been the production company, or it’s the guy himself who wanted publicity to get more parts, I don’t know. 

‘What I know is this is a political setup of astonishing proportions.’

Farage’s deputy Richard Tice meanwhile says that Channel 4’s denial of any involvement with the canvasser is “desperate stuff”, and he demands to know “Why did he say he is a property developer when he is an actor?”. The attack line appears to have originated with Tice’s partner Isabel Oakeshott, who suggested Channel 4 may have “used” Parker.

A bad-faith actor infilitrating some cause or group to make it look bad is always a possibility, although this seems to be an overly literal interpretation of the concept. If Parker wanted to express views that aren’t his own, and that are socially stigmatising, why didn’t he use a pseudonym? There are other difficulties.

First, there is ample documentation of Parker’s career as a property developer, including Companies House filings going back years (here and here) and corroborating details that remain available online from a recently deleted LinkedIn profile. In answer to Tice’s question, then, the reason he said he’s a property developer is because he is, and acting is just a sideline he has pursued over the years (since childhood, according to one profile page).

Second, Farage’s claim that Parker has “worked for Channel 4” lacks significance. Farage relies on a screenshot from Parker’s acting CV posted to a site that refers to Dead Pixels, alongside “Al Campbell / Channel 4”. Campbell was the show’s director, and Channel 4 was the broadcaster – but it was actually produced by Various Artists Ltd. The idea that this acting gig (so minor it’s not even listed on his IMDb – maybe the scene was cut) indicates a surreptitious pre-existing connection with Channel 4 News is fanciful. (1)

According to another Daily Mail article, Parker insists that he was a genuine Reform campaigner, although he regrets the comments that he was filmed making. Perhaps he brought his thespian instincts into his campaigning – modifying his accent, improvising some racist banter – but that would more likely mean that he wanted to fit in rather than that he’s an infiltrator. It seems to me significant that other campaigners haven’t come forward to say that he was different with them in private conversation than he was when he was being secretly filmed. (2)

It is difficult to see how Farage’s claim can be disproven, but there doesn’t seem to be any evidence for it either. His confidence is either confirmation bias or opportunism, and should be balanced against his crafted image as a tough-talking plain speaker. It also fits a pattern of making wild accusations – he recently alleged that the company that Reform had employed to vet prospective candidates had deliberately allowed individuals with discreditable views to go forward to selection and then had tipped off the media. In fact, it seems that the company had been unable to do its work because the election had been called several months earlier than expected – a rather more plausible explanation than a criminal conspiracy.

The controversy over Parker has also conveniently deflected from another person who was secretly filmed by Channel 4, a man described as a member of Farage’s ground team and named in the media as George Jones. Speaking to several others outside a pub, Jones expressed anger at a “degenerate” rainbow flag on a police car bonnet and suggested that the police were promoting “nonces”. He added:

Our police officers would be paramilitaries, they won’t be police… We’re going to bring back the noose.


1. Parker’s appearance on Channel 4 News is also now listed on IMDb, as “Self” for “Episode dated 27 July 2024“. As such, the site also describes him as “known for… Channel 4 News (1982)”. The “1982” here refers to when Channel 4 News started broadcasting, not when he appeared on it. Richard Tice, taking his lead from Mahyar Tousi, is confused on this point, and uses it as the basis for accusing Channel 4 of “fibbing”.

2. Parker was also filmed saying he had previously met Farage in a restaurant; Farage later told a Channel 4 reporter that he was “someone I met once years ago”, but it seems more likely that he was taking Parker’s claim at face value rather than remembering an encounter that was unlikely to have been significant.

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