Nigel Farage: Ukip poster 'would not have caused such a row' without MP's death

Written by Agnes Chambre on 20 June 2016 in News

Nigel Farage has claimed that Ukip’s controversial anti-immigration poster would have received less much criticism if British MP Jo Cox had not been murdered.

Caption: Nigel Farage defends controversial anti-immigration poster Credit: PA Images

The Ukip leader unveiled a picture of refugees fleeing the war in Syria alongside the slogan ‘Breaking Point - The EU has failed us all’. The image was taken on the Slovenian border last October.

Farage on Sunday defended the poster, saying it was "the truth about what’s going on", after fellow Leave campaigner and British Conservative MP, Michael Gove said he "shuddered" when he saw it.

The Ukip leader argued that the row would not have happened without the Labour MP’s death - despite the fact that the poster had already been condemned by pro-EU politicians as "the politics of the gutter" before the tragedy.


Farage told Sky News: "That poster reflects the truth of what's going on. We have a new poster coming out tomorrow morning and we'll unveil a new poster for every day."

When Farage was asked if he wished he hadn't unveiled the poster, he replied: "I wish an innocent member of [the British] Parliament hadn't been gunned down on the street.

"That's the point, and frankly had that not happened, I don't think we would have had the kind of row that we've had over it."

He added: "There was a big momentum developing right across the country, [then] a tragic death... It's difficult to see where either of the campaigns goes."

British policymakers on both the Remain and Leave sides have condemned the poster, with the UK's Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, comparing it to Nazi propaganda.

Osborne launched a furious attack on the poster during an appearance on British television on Sunday.

He said: "I think there is a difference between addressing those concerns [about immigration] in a reasonable way and whipping up concerns, whipping up division, making baseless assertions that millions of people are going to come into the country in the next couple of years from Turkey, or saying that dead bodies are going to wash up on the beaches of Kent - or, indeed, putting up that disgusting and vile poster that Nigel Farage did which had echoes of literature used in the 1930s.

"That is what we should say no to and this referendum vote is a vote on the kind of Britain we want."

Pro-Brexit campaigner Gove told the BBC that the Ukip poster was "the wrong thing to do", while John Mann, another British policymaker also backing a Leave vote, said Farage should withdraw it, arguing that, "It’s unhelpful, inaccurate [and] irrelevant to real debate".

About the author

Agnes Chambre is an assistant news editor at Politics Home

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