Nigel Farage resigns: The outgoing Ukip leader’s most controversial moments

Mr Farage has been accused of racism, sexism, and xenophobia

Jon Stone
Monday 04 July 2016 13:29 BST
Four of Nigel Farage's most controversial moments

Nigel Farage has said he will resign as Ukip leader after winning the European Union referendum.

The MEP has courted his fair share of controversy during his career as leader, often being accused of being racist or expressing xenophobic sentiment.

Here are Mr Farage’s most controversial moments.

When he said he’d be concerned if his neighbours were Romanian

(Bongarts/Getty Images)

In May 2014 Mr Farage was accused of a “racial slur” against Romanians after he suggested he would be concerned living next to a house of them.

“I was asked if a group of Romanian men moved in next to you, would you be concerned? And if you lived in London, I think you would be,” he told LBC radio during an interview.

Asked whether he would also object to living next to German children, he said: “You know the difference.”

When he blamed immigrants for making him late

M25 traffic jam (Getty)

Mr Farage turned up late to a £25-a-head ‘meet the leader’ style event in Port Talbot, Wales in December 2014.

Asked why he was late, he blamed immigrants.

“It took me six hours and 15 minutes to get here - it should have taken three-and-a-half to four,” he said.

“That has nothing to do with professionalism, what it does have to do with is a country in which the population is going through the roof chiefly because of open-door immigration and the fact that the M4 is not as navigable as it used to be.”

When he wanted to ban immigrants with HIV from Britain

The chief executive of NHS England said the report's findings were 'deeply concerning' (Getty)

Mr Farage has used his platform as Ukip leader call for people with HIV to be banned from coming to Britain.

Asked in an interview with Newsweek Europe in October 2014 who he thought should be allowed to come to the UK, he said:

“People who do not have HIV, to be frank. That’s a good start. And people with a skill.”

He also repeated similar comments in the 2015 general election leadership debates.

When he defended the use of a racial slur against Chinese people

Beijing has seen rapid development in recent years (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

Defending one of Ukip’s candidates, who used the word “ch**ky” to describe a Chinese person, Mr Farage said:

“If you and your mates were going out for a Chinese, what do you say you're going for?"

When he was told by the presented that he “honestly would not” use the slur, Mr Farage replied: “A lot would”.

When he said parts of Britain were ‘like a foreign land’

Vytenis Andriukaitis puts his head in his hands as Nigel Farage talks (Screengrab)

The Ukip leader used his 2014 conference speech to declare parts of Britain as being “like a foreign land”.

He told his audience in Torquay that parts of the country were “unrecognisable” because of the number of foreigners there.

Mr Farage has also previously said he felt uncomfortable when people spoke other language on a train.

When he said the British army should be deployed to France

A migrant rides his bicycle inside the "Jungle" camp for migrants and refugees in Calais on June 24, the day after Britain voted to leave the EU. (AFP/Getty)

At the height of trouble at Britain’s Calais border Mr Farage proposed a novel solution.

The Ukip leader called for the British army to be sent to France to put down a migrant rebellion.

“In all civil emergencies like this we have an army, we have a bit of a Territorial Army as well and we have a very, very overburdened police force and border agency,” he said.

“If in a crisis to make sure we’ve actually got the manpower to check lorries coming in, to stop people illegally coming to Britain, if in those circumstances we can use the army or other forces then why not.”

When he said breastfeeding women should ‘sit in the corner’

(AFP/Getty Images)

Mr Farage sparked protests from mothers after he told women to “sit on the corner” if they wanted to breastfeed their children.

“I think that given that some people feel very embarrassed by it, it isn’t too difficult to breastfeed a baby in a way that's not openly ostentatious,” Mr Farage said.

He added: "Or perhaps sit in the corner, or whatever it might be”.

When he said the gender pay gap exists because women are ‘worth less’

Canary Wharf: could another European city rival London as the financial capital? (Getty)

At a Q&A on the European Union in January 2014 Mr Farage said there was no discrimination against women causing the gender pay gap.

Instead, he said, women were paid less because they were simply “worth far less” than many of their male counterparts.

“A woman who has a client base, has a child and takes two or three years off - she is worth far less to her employer when she comes back than when she went away because that client base won't be stuck as rigidly to her portfolio,” he said.

When he said he actually couldn’t guarantee £350m to the NHS after Brexit

Boris Johnson and the Vote Leave campaign toured the UK in the Brexit battle bus which claimed the UK sends £350 million to the EU each week (Getty)

During the EU referendum campaign the Leave side pledged to spend £350 million a week on the National Health Service – claiming that this is what the UK sends to Brussels.

Nigel Farage didn’t speak out against this figure and also pledged to spend EU cash on the health service and other public services himself.

Then the day of the election result he suddenly changed his tone, saying he couldn’t guarantee the cash for the NHS and that to pledge to do so was “a mistake”.

When he unveiled that 'breaking point' poster during the referendum

Nigel Farage in front of the controversial Leave.EU poster a week before the referendum (Rex)

Mr Farage was accused of deploying “Nazi-style propaganda” when he unveiled a poster showing Syrian refugees travelling to Europe under the next “Breaking point”.

Users on social media were quick to compare the advert to a Nazi propaganda film with similar visuals and featuring Jewish refugees.

The poster was particularly controversial because it was unveiled the morning of the killing of Labour MP Jo Cox.

When he said the EU campaign was won 'without a bullet being fired'

Nigel Farage has said the next Prime Minister has to be a Leave supporter (AFP/Getty)

Mr Farage was branded "shameful" for using his Brexit victory speech to say the referendum had been won "without a bullet being fired".

The comments came just days after MP Jo Cox was shot. At his trial Thomas Mair had introduced himself as 'my name is freedom for Britain, death to traitors'.

"We will have done it without having to fight, without a single bullet being fired, we'd have done it by damned hard work on the ground,” he said.

When he resigned as Ukip leader and came back days later

The Conservative Party's Craig Mackinlay, right, waves after winning the count for the South Thanet seat beside, from left, Nigel Farage the leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) and Al Murray a comedian who performs as "The Pub Landlord" at the Winter Gardens in Margate (AP/Matt Dunham)

After failing to win the seat of South Thanet at the general election, Nigel Farage stepped down as Ukip leader – as he had promised to do during the campaign.

Days later on 11 May he “un-resigned” and said he would stay after being convinced by supporters within the party.

We’ll see how long his resignation lasts this time.

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