Nigel Farage has been interrogated and ridiculed about why he chose not to learn Flemish, German or French while working in Brussels as a Ukip MEP.
Appearing on his radio show on LBC on Sunday morning, the former Ukip leader who resigned at the beginning of July, argued it was imperative for people to learn languages in order to properly integrate into a country.
“I don’t see how you can integrate if you don’t speak the language of the country,” said an LBC caller, to which Mr Farage responded: “I couldn’t agree with you more … I think the language is absolutely fundamental.”
“Just on that specific point, I was wondering why you spent more than twenty years living in Belgium and yet you don’t speak a word of Flemish, German or French?” asked the caller.
“I speak a bit of French,” Mr Farage responded. “I’ll have you know Richard. I’m very good with a French wine list alright. I know my way round a menu.”
“I do speak a bit of French Richard I will have you know. I’m not a brilliant linguist I’ll admit to it,” Mr Farage later added.
“I’m not going into the Big Brother house or the jungle or strictly. I’m not taking over from Chris Evans on Top Gear. I’ll tell you what I am doing, I’m taking life a little easier,” he said.
In February of 2014, Mr Farage said he felt “awkward” when he could hear no English being spoken while travelling on a train from London to Kent.
“It was rush hour, from Charing Cross, it was the stopper going out. We stopped at London Bridge, New Cross, Hither Green,” he told journalists at his party’s annual conference in Torquay.
“It wasn’t until after we got past Grove Park that I could actually hear English being audibly spoken in the carriage. Does that make me feel slightly awkward? Yes.”
Mr Farage shocked MPs and the public when he stood down as Ukip leader at the beginning of July. He said he had achieved his political ambition and wanted his life back.
He is currently standing in for controversial columnist Katie Hopkins in the 10am slot on LBC.
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