A pub regular who performed an obscene gesture behind Nigel Farage on live television may not need to buy a drink for months after being bought 100 pints.
Thousands saw Gary Cross do what has been dubbed the “Farage wave” behind the Ukip leader as he spoke to the BBC outside The Bell Inn in Bath on Tuesday.
It lasted for just seconds as he continued to walk into the pub.
The huge reaction to his gesture prompted the pub to set up a “Buy Gary a Pint” fund on its website, which passed £300 yesterday afternoon.
Mr Farage did not notice the “w****r” sign over his shoulder but after being broadcast live it rapidly spread on the internet through YouTube videos and gifs.
He was accusing reporters of “trivialising” his anti-EU party’s campaign as it happened.
Mr Farage said: “You guys are doing a very good job to try to trivialise and demonise everything we do. The fact is we are fighting a national election campaign here.”
The manager of the pub, Jamie Matthews, had asked the party leader and his entourage to leave but filming continued outside.
In a statement on Facebook he said Mr Farage had appeared with “be-suited henchmen” and the BBC News film crew.
He added: “Avoiding any actual political argument, I told him that he was welcome as a citizen to have a pint - we are, after all, a public house - but it was inappropriate for him to be using our premises for his hustings.
“I asked the camera man to stop filming. Most of the entourage then finished or left their drinks and went outside.”
The pub, which is owned by a cooperative of 536 people, has also refused to host other political parties to maintain neutrality.Reuse content