Woman throws milkshake over Nigel Farage on first day of campaigning

Estimated read time 3 min read

Nigel Farage had a milkshake thrown over him on his first day of campaigning in Clacton, the Essex constituency where he is making his eighth attempt to become an MP.

A woman, 25, was arrested on suspicion of assault after the incident, in which the Reform UK leader was drenched with a banana milkshake as he came out of a pub following a rally on Clacton’s beachfront.

Essex police said while officers were detaining the suspect, a man was arrested on suspicion of assaulting an emergency worker.

Farage’s entry into the general election race has prompted open alarm among Conservatives. Marco Longhi, a Tory rightwinger fighting to retain his seat of Dudley North, made an appeal for Reform not to target like-minded Conservative incumbents.

“This internal struggle of the right narrative is going to, by default, almost certainly deliver a leftwing government, which is the opposite of what we both want,” Longhi told the Times.

The home secretary, James Cleverly, admitted on Tuesday morning that the Conservatives were facing a major challenge, after a YouGov poll on Monday suggested the party could fall to 140 seats. He insisted that a vote for Reform would open the door to a Labour government.

Farage, meanwhile, indicated that his goal was to effectively take over Rishi Sunak’s party, comparing the situation to the 1993 Canadian election, in which the Conservatives there were virtually obliterated. An MP elected there for a rightwing populist party – also called Reform – went on to head a “new Conservative” government.

Finger-pointing as an anti-Farage protester brandishes a banner in Clacton.View image in fullscreen

“Reform did a reverse takeover of the Conservative party, rebranded it and Stephen Harper – who was elected as a Reform MP – became the Canadian prime minister for 10 years,” he told ITV’s Good Morning Britain.

“I don’t want to join the Conservative party, I think the better thing to do would be to take it over.”

Amid fresh rumours on Tuesday that Farage’s return to frontline politics could trigger defections by Tory candidates, the former Conservative leader William Hague likened Farage to a “big wrecking ball” that now threatened the Tory party.

Hague also told Times Radio that the risk to the party he once led was “more dangerous” than in the Canada scenario.

In Clacton, Farage told crowds of supporters that young people’s minds were being “poisoned” in schools, as he promised to stand against what he called “woke nonsense”.

He said he would bring investment and jobs to the area, home to some of the most deprived communities in Britain, and said the Tories and Labour were not “genuinely patriotic”.

“They don’t believe in Britain and the British people in the way you do,” said Farage, who called Clacton “the most patriotic town in Britain”.

Douglas Carswell, who became the first elected Ukip MP in 2014 after defecting from the Tories and triggering a byelection, told the Guardian that he had encouraged Farage to run in Clacton. While the men had fallen out, there has since been a rapprochement and Carswell was name-checked by Farage at the rally.

Carswell said: “Immediately Rishi called an election, I sent him a message saying you’ve got to run and it’ll be hilarious. When he initially said he would not, I thought it was the wrong call.

“I think the odds of him winning are literally 50/50. I think it could go either way. I think he could win. But he’s going to have to have to campaign on the ground relentlessly.”

Source: theguardian.com

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