Andriukaitis blasts Farage 'toxic untruths' and 'lies'

Written by Martin Banks on 30 June 2016 in News

European health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis has criticised Nigel Farage for spreading "toxic untruths" and "lies".

European health and food safety Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis | Photo credit: European Parliament audiovisual

On Tuesday, the EU official was seen grimacing and covering his face with his palm as Farage launched into a tirade against MEPs, whom he accused of never having done "a proper job" in their lives.

Farage criticised his fellow European deputies as being out-of-touch with the world, and said that many of them had never held a "proper job" in their lives. He elaborated that it was better for the UK to depart the European Union (and soon). He still believes that it will be possible for the UK to maintain some sort of relationship with the EU.

"Why don't we just be pragmatic, sensible, grownup and realistic. Let's cut between us a sensible tariff-free deal, and thereafter recognise that the United Kingdom will be your friend and continue to trade and cooperate with the EU," Farage said.


Photos of Andriukaitis "facepalming" as the UKIP leader spoke have been widely shared on social media using the hashtag #WeAreSeat123.

The Lithuanian Commissioner for health and food safety is a trained cardiac surgeon and born in a Soviet gulag on the edge of the Arctic Ocean. 

He started his political career with the underground Social Democrat movement.

In a blogpost, he reveals his thoughts during Farage's speech.

Andriukaitis criticises Farage, the Ukip leader, for spreading "toxic untruths" and "lies", such as the claim that, after Brexit, the money formerly contributed by Britain to the EU budget would be invested in healthcare.

The 64-year-old, who worked as a cardiac surgeon for six years and took part in the first heart transplant operation in his country's history before moving into politics, says on his blog that in spite of the outcome of the referendum, "I was and still am fully with all the British people".

"I am with all those who voted against financial speculation uncovered in the Panama papers and with those who voted against unemployment and decreasing standards of living," he writes.

"I was and still am fully with the British people," he writes, indicating his support for Leave, as well as Remain, voters.

"I am with all those who voted against financial speculation uncovered in the 'Panama Papers' and with those who voted against unemployment and decreasing standards of living.

"However, sadly, many votes will have been influenced by the lies spread by some representatives of the Leave campaign," says the Commissioner.

"Toxic untruths spread by Farage and others, such as claims money Britain contributes to the EU budget would be used for investments in health care, have now been revealed as lies."

"These are brutal forces infecting our democracies, destroying the sentiment of security and values that we hold so dearly in Europe," he wrote.

Andriukaitis said Britain was "changing" and expressed his solidarity with Remain voters.

"Young people in Scotland, Northern Ireland or London want to see a different future," he said.

"The EU is changing as well. For me its future lies in social justice and security.

"This is the way forward. And only together ... can we achieve this."

He said two symbols of the fraught referendum campaign will stay in his heart: the Labour MP Jo Cox, who "was killed because of people instigating hate, chauvinism and phobias", and the British commissioner Jonathan Hill, whose resignation in the wake of the leave vote Andriukaitis describes as "an example of moral self-determination, taking responsibility and embracing the consequences."

Meanwhile, a Ukip source told BuzzFeed News the number of threats towards Farage has increased since the EU referendum result.

Earlier this month, it was revealed that Farage has faced hundreds of online death threats for years. 

However, a Ukip source told BuzzFeed News that they had intensified in the wake of Brexit.

Farage is understood to have boosted his security in recent days, and has told reporters he had "been in lots of dangerous situations".


About the author

Martin Banks is a journalist for the Parliament Magazine

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