A Glasgow Guardian investigation has found that Dionne Cocozza, The Brexit Party’s candidate for Glasgow North, has posted and shared a large amount of Islamophobic and otherwise problematic content on social media.
A large number of Cocozza’s tweets concern the Muslim community in the UK and attempt to portray this community in an inarguably negative light. The candidate appears to believe that there is a concerted effort by Muslims to institute sharia law in the UK. On the 28 January this year, prior to her selection as a Brexit Party parliamentary candidate, Cocozza tweeted that:
“Muslims overuse that label [fascist] to cover up fact [sic] it’s resentment of UK [Union Jack emoji] Want their cake & eat it [sic] but I love western life, want to change UK [Union Jack emoji] laws to oppressive sharia law as @theresa_may @Jeremycorbyn let us do what we want #mugs #doormat #put #British #Born #last #fact”
On the 4 February this year, Cocozza tweeted the following: "Aussie Prime Minister Julia Gillard to Muslims: Live with our beliefs or get out…”. The tweet went on to urge Theresa May to “listen and get tough” and claim that by being distracted by their own political agendas, politicians are “risking the UK forever”.
In addition to claiming that British culture is threatened by the Muslim community, a large number of Cocozza’s tweets attempt to portray Muslims as violent and regressive. In response to an alt-right Twitter account’s posting of a video captioned “RETWEET: Two Muslim kids brutally beat white kid while their friend films it!!!”, Cocozza urges Piers Morgan to comment on the video and asks “why are people too scared to stick up for white people & UK flag [union jack emoji] or American?” In further tweets, Cocozza repeatedly shared a video titled Qatari Man Teaches Muslims How to Beat Your Wife and links this content to what she sees as the threat of sharia law spreading in the west.
In addition to content authored by Cocozza, the candidate’s Twitter feed contains a significant amount of xenophobic material that has been either shared or liked by the candidate. As recently as the 6 November, for instance, Cocozza retweeted a post that read: “Sorry but I heard a muslim say, we get elected then slowly we takeover. Happened in Belgium, Sweden and Germany. We Can’t let this happen here. My opinion only. #InclusionDelusion #multiculturalism doesn’t work”.
In addition to targeting Muslims, Cocozza’s Twitter feed reveals a belief by the candidate that anti-white racism is prevalent within the UK. In many of her frequent criticisms of David Lammy (whom she has accused of “always using the race card”), Cocozza frequently accuses the Labour politician of being motivated by anti-white prejudice. According to the candidate, she is the recipient of abusive messages on social media because, in the candidate’s words: “It’s because a right [sic] & I happen to be white…”
It is currently unclear as to whether The Brexit Party was aware of Dionne Cocozza’s views on race and multiculturalism prior to her selection as parliamentary candidate.