Nigel Farage’s new group accuses Bolton Wanderers of ‘Moscow-style rebuke to free speech’

The League One club declined to host an anti-climate action rally by the right-wing commentator

Jon Stone
Policy Correspondent
Wednesday 09 March 2022 15:07 GMT
Former Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage
Former Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage (REUTERS)

Nigel Farage's new campaign group has accused a League One football club of a "Moscow-style rebuke to free speech" after it declined to host one of its rallies.

The former Brexit Party leader is campaigning against climate action and was hoping to host a political event at a Bolton hotel owned by the club.

But a statement issued by the Trotters on Monday said the rally was "not something the club and business wish to be associated with" and that it would be cancelled.

Mr Farage's group, called Vote Power Not Poverty, said in a statement on Tuesday that it was now seeking an alternative venue.

"This morning we were made aware that the owners of Bolton Wanderers Football Club and the Bolton Whites Hotel had reneged on our contract to hold the first ‘Vote Power Not Povery’ Rally," it said.

"In a Moscow style-rebuke to free speech, this decision is an attempt to stifle a much needed debate on the expensive consequences of the government’s net zero plans, when there are better solutions."

The group said the decision was "difficult to understand" and claimed "wealthy owners of football clubs may not care about ordinary people".

The concluded: "We remain grateful for the incredible support we’re getting from all parts of our great country."

A statement issued by Bolton Wanderers said: “A ‘Vote Power Not Poverty’ Rally scheduled for later this month at the Bolton Whites Hotel will not be happening.

“The event has been cancelled by BWFC and is not something the club and business wish to be associated with.”

Some British right-wingers have started to organise against the government's commitment to reaching net zero carbon, arguing that averting climate change will increase bills.

But the Committee on Climate Change has dismissed this arguments and says investment in green energy is in fact the best way to bring down bills – and that new fossil fuel drilling will not help.

Scientists say reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 at the latest is a requirement to avert catastrophic climate change in the coming decades.

In 2014 Mr Farage named Vladimir Putin as the leader he most admired, praising the Russian president’s skills as an “operator" and citing his “brilliant” handling of the civil war in Syria.

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