Nigel Farage halts interview after questions about Julian Assange and Russia links

The former Ukip leader called the German journalist 'a nutcase', 'mad' and 'away with the fairies', because he disliked his line of questioning

Charlotte England
Friday 19 May 2017 14:22 BST
Former Ukip leader Nigel Farage brought an abrupt end to an interview because he did not like the questions
Former Ukip leader Nigel Farage brought an abrupt end to an interview because he did not like the questions

Nigel Farage abruptly ended an interview with a German newspaper because the reporter asked him about his relationships with Russia and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Mr Farage described interviewer Steffen Dobbert from Zeit Online as “a nutcase”, “mad” and “away with the fairies”, when Mr Dobbert suggested Ukip and Russia shared an agenda, asked why Mr Farage met with Mr Assange, and said after Brexit it might be harder for British people to travel to the European Union.

Eventually, on the advice of his press spokesman — who reportedly interrupted the interview several times — the eurosceptic MEP ended the conversation and asked Mr Dobbert to leave the room.

Reminding Mr Farage that he has said in the past he admires Russian President Vladimir Putin, Zeit Online asked the politician if — given that “one of Russia's foreign policy goals is dividing and weakening the EU” — he could have been “used for this Russian goal”?

Mr Farage responded: “I want the EU to be destroyed and it doesn’t matter if God or the Dalai Lama wants it as well.”

He added a personal attack on Mr Dobbert, saying: “You know, you are the first person who has asked me if Russia supported me. Maybe you have a special German mindset. No other journalist in the world has asked these questions.”

Mr Farage stated that Ukip has no links to Russia, and denied meeting with the Russian Embassy’s deputy chief-of-mission in London.

“Not in 2013, before the Brexit campaign was conceived?” Zeit Online asked. Mr Farage replied: “Ah, hang on. He came to the EP office. Or I met with him in London. So what?

“I think you are a nutcase! You are really a nutcase!

"Brexit is the best thing to happen," he added, "for Russia, for America, for Germany and for democracy. And that's the key point.”

But it was speculation that Brexit would result in travel difficulties for British citizens that made Mr Farage finally shut down the interview.

"You are away with the fairies," he told Mr Dobbert, who had said Brexit could result in a new border in Europe.

"You must be mad. I have never heard anything so immature in all my life. Because of Brexit I will lose my option to travel to Hamburg?"

He added: "You should be on a comedy show, not be a journalist."

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