Brexit Party supporters heckle British-Asian MEP with shouts of 'Go home' during her acceptance speech following re-election to European Parliament

A Brexit Party candidate denied the shout was racist, accusing Neena Gill of branding Nigel Farage's group "fascists"

Andrew Woodcock
Political Editor
Tuesday 28 May 2019 09:53
Comments
Brexit Party' supporter shouts at British-Asian Labour MEP Neena Gill to 'go home'

An MEP of Asian origin was heckled with shouts of “Go home” by Brexit Party supporters during her acceptance speech following her re-election to the European Parliament.

British Sikh Neena Gill’s speech was loudly interrupted by angry supporters of Nigel Farage’s eurosceptic party during the declaration of results for the West Midlands in Birmingham on Sunday night.

West Midlands Labour said the heckles exposed an “ugly truth” about the Brexit Party.

And Ms Gill sent out a message on social media characterising the incident as “racism”.

But Brexit Party supporters said they were enraged by Ms Gill comparing them to European fascist movements of the past.

Heckling and booing broke out as the Labour MEP said: “European history tells us that every fascist regime needs people to demonise in order to thrive.”

Brexit Party MEP Rupert Lowe denounced her comment as “absolute rubbish”, saying: “The people I'm standing alongside represent a broad cross-section of the UK population. I've seen no evidence of any sign of fascism.”

In footage of the incident, a number of people sporting Brexit Party rosettes can be seen shouting “How dare you?”, “Is it OK to call us fascists?” and “Are half a million people fascists?”

Shouts of “Go home” and “F*** off” can be heard, though it is not clear from the film who they came from.

A message on the West Midlands Labour Twitter feed said: “Angry Brexit Party supporters at Birmingham count telling first British-Asian Sikh woman MEP Neena Gill to ‘go home’ exposes an ugly truth.”

And Labour’s Warwick and Leamington MP Matt Western said: “This should disturb any decent, tolerant person in our community and our country.”

Brexit Party candidate Vishal Khatri – who is himself of Asian heritage and was present at the declaration - confirmed that the shout of “Go home” came from their group, but denied it was racist.

“I think they meant ‘Go home to bed’,” he told The Independent. “She was calling us racists and fascists, which made people angry. You can’t go around calling people racists.”

The Brexit Party came out on top in the European elections in the West Midlands, taking more than 500,000 votes (38%) and three MEPs, though Mr Khatri was not successful.

Labour came in second with around 228,000 votes (17%), losing one of its two seats.

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