Candidate accused of Islamophobia in 2019 stands for Reform UK under different name

A former Brexit Party candidate is running for Reform UK under a different name, following accusations of Islamophobia in 2019.

Dionne Moore Cocozza is now running in Glasgow West as Dionne Moore, using her middle name as a surname. No details on Reform UK’s website link the candidate to the 2019 race.

The Reform UK candidate previously stood for the Brexit Party, later rebranded as Reform UK in Glasgow North under the name Dionne Cocozza, receiving 320 votes.

Ms Cocozza’s candidacy in the 2019 election drew attention after the University of Glasgow’s student newspaper and Hope Not Hate reported on her social media use.

At the time, she wrote on social media that Muslims wanted to institute Sharia law in a post viewed by Sky News.

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A post shared by the candidate on social media. Pic: Sky News
A post shared by the candidate on social media

According to the anti-racism advocacy group Hope Not Hate, Ms Cocozza also said on social media that, “You can’t say anything if your white 2019 [sic]”.

The organisation reported in 2019 that the candidate replied to Labour’s David Lammy on X (then Twitter), accusing the politician of stoking racism with what she described as a “gobby big mouth & anti-white tweets”.

She also shared a post written by another user, viewed by Sky News, which made the claim, “I heard a muslim say, we get elected then slowly we takeover”.

Sky News was unable to find any other instances in which Ms Cocozza has opted to use the name “Dionne Moore” in public. The candidate’s X and LinkedIn accounts use the name Dionne Cocozza.

Ms Cocozza has not drawn attention to her candidacy on social media. Her page on Reform UK’s website does not contain a biography, in contrast to some other candidates.

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Reform UK’s regional manager for Scotland, Martyn Greene, confirmed the candidate is the same person who ran in 2019.

As of Tuesday morning, neither have responded to questions put to them about Ms Cocozza’s candidacy and social media history.

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Also standing in Glasgow West are:

• James Calder, Liberal Democrats

• James Cormack, Christian Party

• Patricia Ferguson, Labour

• Faten Hameed, Conservative

• Carol Monaghan, SNP

• Nick Quail, Scottish Greens

This article is part of the Online Election project – a Sky News initiative to cover how the campaign is playing out online.

The Data and Forensics team is a multi-skilled unit dedicated to providing transparent journalism from Sky News. We gather, analyse and visualise data to tell data-driven stories. We combine traditional reporting skills with advanced analysis of satellite images, social media and other open source information. Through multimedia storytelling we aim to better explain the world while also showing how our journalism is done.

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