The Reform UK candidate for Melksham and Devizes has said that the situation in the country “increasingly” reminds him of his time in Apartheid-era South Africa.

Malcolm Cupis will be standing in the Melksham and Devizes Constituency at this year’s general election.

Previously an active member of the Conservative party for 25 years, Mr Cupis recently transitioned to Reform UK.

He said: “I left the Conservative party because I felt that the Conservative party had left me, that it no longer stood for core, conservative values.”

He became interested in politics after his family emigrated from Melksham to South Africa when he was 15 years old.

He described being “horrifically bullied” whilst trying to stand up for what he believed to be wrong in the Apartheid regime.

Mr Cupis reported returning to Wiltshire in 1990 to find the lives of the working-class people in the area “blighted by a lack of opportunity.”  

He said: “There is this real anger among people I know who have always been here that they’ve just fallen through the gaps in society.”

As part of his campaign, Mr Cupis has committed to lobbying for a local hospital, focusing on local people and supporting farmers.

He said: “It has become so difficult throughout the constituency to get a GP appointment or to see a dentist, or to get a place in school, the roads are falling apart, the traffic queues are terrible…

“There has been this enormous growth in housing development and there has been no investment in infrastructure.”

He also noted the constituency needed “much more visible policing in all areas.”

Regarding his position on immigration, Mr Cupis said: “It’s not a question of being against immigrants, it’s a question of just being certain that the people you are allowing into this country are people that are properly vetted and needed and have a place here where they can settle, contribute and become part of this great nation.”

He claimed: “When people talk about white privilege in this country, what they’re actually talking about is host culture privilege and, to a certain degree, that is an endemic human trait in all cultures.”

He added: “I don’t understand why you would negatively stereotype anybody by their nationality, or by their ethnicity, or by their religion, or by any other factor like that.

“It’s fundamentally wrong.”

Mr Cupis concluded: “We are building a kind of virtual apartheid on many different levels on a small island, and breeding more and more anger and resentment between people instead of bringing people together.”