POLITICS

Nigel Farage: France DOES Have No-Go Zones, Mayor's Threat To Sue Fox News Is 'Incomprehensible'

22/01/2015 12:24 GMT | Updated 22/01/2015 13:59 GMT

Amid threats from the mayor of Paris to sue Fox News for “insulting” it’s image, Nigel Farage has stepped forward to fan the flames over the ongoing “no-go” zone row.

The channel landed in hot water for suggesting France is a hotbed of areas including popular tourist spot Place de la Republique and Boulevard de Magenta near major train station Gare de l'Est where non-Muslims dare not enter.

Speaking to CNN on Tuesday, Mayor Anne Hidalgo said: “When we’re insulted and we’ve had an image, then I think we’ll have to sue, I think we’ll have to go to court, in order to have these words removed.”

nigel farage

Nigel Farage says the row abut 'no-go' zones is 'a matter of semantics'

But while Fox News has apologised “to the people of France and England” for the claims, Farage has argued the matter is simply down to a “matter of semantics.”

The UKIP leader told The Telegraph: “We are very much involved with terminology here. The French police call 571 areas sensitive zones, Fox calls them no-go zones.

“The French are always sensitive to criticism especially from America. It’s a matter of semantics. I’ve heard French politicians use the term no go zones.

fox news lampooned by petit journal

Noel Peterson on Fox News commenting on Paris "no-go zones"

“The point is whether it is the correct phrase there’s a massive problem with lack of integration in French cities.

“I am not in the least bit surprised by it [the threat to sue]. Most people will look at this and find it incomprehensible.”

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Hidalgo said: “The image of Paris has been prejudiced, and the honour of Paris has been prejudiced. And I think in the great discussion of truth everyone is to play its role. And we’re going to have to be realistic and put things as they are.”

Responding to Hidalgo, Fox News has said: “We empathise with the citizens of France as they go through a healing process and return to everyday life. However, we find the Mayor’s comments regarding a lawsuit misplaced.”

anne hidalgo

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo says she plans to sue Fox News

Last week Farage appeared on Fox News with anchor Sean Hannity in which he agreed with the host’s claim there were places “the police are not allowed to go, non-Muslims are not allowed to go."

Hannity asked: "Why would France, or another other country, allow Muslims who have come into the country to basically take over portions of that country? It seems like madness to me."

farage hannity

Farage with Hannity

"It isn't just France," Farage said. "We've got no-go zones in most of the big French cities, we’ve been turning a blind eye to preachers of hate, that have been coming here from the Middle East and saying things that the rest of us would be arrested for."

Despite Fox’s apology for using the phraseand an apology from guest Steve Emerson who claimed “there are actual cities like Birmingham that are totally Muslim, where non-Muslims just simply don’t go in”, Farage is not alone in feeling adamant the term should still stand.

This week Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal insisted that at the very least, Britain is teeming with such areas.

In spite of being repeatedly challenged by CNN reporter Max Foster, Jindal stuck to his guns, stating: “Look this is not a question, I know the left wants to make this into an attack on religion and that’s not what this is. What we’re saying is it’s absolutely an issue for the UK, it’s absolutely an issue for America and other European and Western nations.”

bobby jindal

Bobby Jindal was emphatic in his assertion there are so called no-go zones in Britain