A BREXIT Party candidate co-founded a “Nazi-inspired band” which wore “SS insignia” during their performances.

Graham Cushway, who is the party’s candidate for Brighton Kemptown, played bass in a heavy metal band called Stuka Squadron.

Civil rights group Hope Not Hate said the band “performs from the perspective of a troupe of vampiric Nazis”.

And it states the “Stuka” refers to the Junkers Ju 87 dive bomber planes used in World War II.

A biography of the band reads: “Stuka Squadron is not an “NS” [National Socialist] band and shares no affiliation or beliefs with the white supremacy movement”.

But Hope Not Hate believe the band has “engaged in a deeply inappropriate fetishization of the Third Reich”.

One band member has been pictured wearing the Iron Cross - a German military medal.

And Mr Cushway can be seen wearing what Hope Not Hate claims is a SS Totenkopf insignia.

In a fictional biography for Mr Cushway’s alias, Graham Lord Pyre, it states he met his band mates in The Thule Society - a 1930s organisation which counted leading Nazis including Rudolph Hess among its members.

A statement from the band reads: “Stuka Squadron is - and always was - solely AN ACT.

“It was intended to be shocking and un-PC at the outset, although this desire waned as it increased in popularity.

“The band is not intended to convey any political message. There is no political agenda and the band members have always represented a cross-section of political opinion. 

“No band member has ever been affiliated to any extreme right or left wing movement, or has or had any interest in or sympathy for extreme politics.

“All items of costume are entirely bogus. The intention was to portray Luftwaffe pilots. However the band's own style is intended only to vaguely evoke the subject. 

“While some members sported Iron Crosses, the Iron Cross is an insignia which was not specific to the Second World War, is commonly worn by Heavy Metal bands and is a reference to the band Motörhead. 

“Any appearance of genuine Second World War-era symbols on accessories - hats, ties, straps etc - is purely accidental and the result of random early purchases. A skull insignia seen in some photographs is a reference to the band Slayer.

“The band's look is NOT intended to portray the SS or any other specific military unit from any era.”

Mr Cushway himself added: “The tie is a reference to the band Slayer and is not intended to have further relevance, which was understood by our audience. 

“The band is escapist fantasy create for a Heavy Metal audience and had no message of any kind.”

Rival Labour candidate Lloyd Russell-Moyle has denounced the band.

He said: “It seems to me to be pretty abhorrent to appear in a Luftwaffe heavy metal tribute band and to dress up as Nazis.

“My great uncle was shot by Nazis and my grandmother left Germany for freedom in the UK in the 1940s.

"To think that years later someone standing to be an MP here would dress up in costumes paying homage to those that murdered millions of people in Germany and caused devastation in cities in the UK is sickening. 

“Graham says to me that it was a parody but I certainly don’t find it funny and I don’t think voters will either.”

He added The Brexit Party should be “considering his position”.