Anti-Islamic group Reclaim Australia linked to two candidates

Anti-Islamic group Reclaim Australia linked to two candidates

Anti-Islamic far-right group Reclaim Australia has its Canberra organiser running as an independent in Yerrabi, and has endorsed a second candidate in Ginninderra.

Reclaim organiser Daniel Evans makes no mention of his ties to the group or his anti-Islamic stance in his campaign material, including roadside corflutes, or candidate website and Facebook page.

Daniel Evans spoke to an anti-Islam rally outside Parliament in February.

Daniel Evans spoke to an anti-Islam rally outside Parliament in February. Credit:Graham Tidy

Mr Evans has, however, been an active Reclaim member, and helped organise an anti-Islam rally outside Parliament House in February, one of a series of worldwide events linked to the German-based group Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West.

He organised a similar event in April last year.


But Mr Evans on Thursday denied deliberately trying to hide such views from ACT voters, saying he considered his anti-Islam stance and immigration to be federal issues.

Another independent candidate, Lea Zangl in Ginninderra, said he had been approached by members of Reclaim Australia.

Mr Zangl – who is publicly campaigning on a platform of "accountability, certainty, and transparency" – said the group endorsed him, after finding common ground with some of his views.

"I was approached by activist groups Australian Conservative Capitalists and Reclaim ACT, that I understand have supported Rise Up [Australia] in some capacity," Mr Zangl said.

"The above groups were looking for a candidate or party to back in this election and I was endorsed by them after meeting with them and providing some of my positions."

"They don't agree with everything I stand for, but they believe they could have a better relationship with me then any other candidates."

Mr Evans has campaigned in the ACT election against safe schools, an anti-bullying program designed to support students questioning their sexuality, and organised a small protest in early October.

The background of both Mr Evans and Mr Zangl was first challenged online by Sex Party lead candidate Steven Bailey earlier this month.

He asked the pair why they were running as independents on Facebook, suggesting it was a "branding exercise".

Mr Bailey said on Thursday that independents and minor parties had initially decided to work together, to present a united front and an alternative to the major parties.

"But after a bit of consideration, I decided to see what these [candidates] stood for, the word independent doesn't inherently mean you are a good political force," he said.

He said the agreement largely fell apart. Mr Bailey said he trusted ACT voters, but felt it necessary to publicly disclose the links to Mr Zangl and Mr Evans.

Another independent candidate standing in Yerrabi, David Pollard, expressed concern that voters would not be able to understand the nature of Mr Evans' background.

Mr Pollard said even those who attempted to research Mr Evans would be unlikely to find his links to Reclaim Australia.

"I'm not worried about him, it was just a bit disappointing … this election is largely about transparency, and he's not offering that," he said.

Christopher Knaus is a reporter for The Canberra Times.

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