Nigel Farage vs Nick Clegg - was the real winner Vladimir Putin?

Ukip leader has come under fire for accusing EU of having 'blood on its hands' over the Ukraine crisis 

The gauntlet was thrown, the gloves came off and amidst a flurry of tweets, scurrying journalists and political posturing round one of Nick vs Nige saw a fairly even start.

The polls may suggest Nigel Farage emerged victorious from his debate with Nick Clegg over Britain's future in the European Union, but the real winner would appear to be President Vladimir Putin.

He may not agree with Mr Clegg over the EU, but amid his assertions, the leader of Ukip seemed to back the Kremlin's stance on the Ukraine, suggesting the EU had "blood on its hands" over Crimea.

Mr Farage found himself facing a backlash of criticism on Twitter for claiming the EU had provoked the Russian leader, while accusing the British government of "geeing up" those behind the uprising in Ukraine that ousted President Viktor Yanukovych.

He hit out at an "imperialist, expansionist EU", which he said should "hang its head in shame" for providing false hope - apparently taking a pro-Kremlin stance on the crisis which has seen Moscow's formal annexation of the peninsula of Crimea in southern Ukraine into Russia.

"We have given a false series of hopes to a group of people in the western Ukraine and so geed up were they that they actually toppled their own elected leader," he said.

"That provoked Mr Putin and I think the European Union, frankly, does have blood on its hands in the Ukraine. I don't want a European army, navy, air force or a European foreign policy. It has not been a thing for good in the Ukraine."

However, when Mr Clegg was asked why countries such as Ukraine are so keen to develop ties with the EU as the UK debates doing the opposite, the leader of the Lib Dems insisted that while the EU "needs reforming" it has also been responsible for a number of formerly communist countries becoming democracies because they became part of "the family of nations within the European Union".

"It was very moving to see those people demonstrating for their freedoms, demonstrating for their rights and some of them dying for it in Kiev," he said.

Despite Mr Farage's statement, which some may find controversial, some 57 per cent of those surveyed thought Mr Farage had performed best, compared to just 36 per cent for the Lib Dem leader.

Read more: Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage clash over immigration during live debate

Life and Style
The new Windows 10 Start Menu
tech
News
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete today
Arts and Entertainment
There has been a boom in ticket sales for female comics, according to an industry survey
comedyFirst national survey reveals Britain’s comedic tastes
Arts and Entertainment
Hilary North's 'How My Life Has Changed', 2001
books(and not a Buzzfeed article in sight)
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Mystery man: Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike in '‘Gone Girl'
films... by the director David Fincher
News
Kim Jong Un gives field guidance during his inspection of the Korean People's Army (KPA) Naval Unit 167
newsSouth Korean reports suggest rumours of a coup were unfounded
News
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
Life and Style
stoptober... when the patch, gum and cold turkey had all faied
Travel
Bruce Chatwin's novel 'On the Black Hill' was set at The Vision Farm
travelOne of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
Arts and Entertainment
Gay and OK: a scene from 'Pride'
filmsUS film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
News
people
Life and Style
Magic roundabouts: the gyratory system that has excited enthusiasts in Swindon
motoringJust who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Welsh Year 6 Teacher required in Barry

£100 - £110 per day + Plus travel scheme: Randstad Education Cardiff: The Job:...

Business Analyst - Surrey - Permanent - Up to £50k DOE

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Welsh Teacher Year 2 required in Caerphilly

£100 - £105 per day + plus Travel Scheme: Randstad Education Cardiff: The Job:...

Year 4 Teacher

£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Would you like to work in ...

Day In a Page

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?