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Does Nigel Farage Tell Lies? Yes, Here's Five Of Them

03/02/2017 10:22 GMT | Updated 03/02/2017 10:27 GMT

When I held up a sign behind Nigel Farage on Wednesday it, to my shock, went viral. Less shocking was the torrent of abuse and hate that followed online. A lot of the accounts that targeted me called me childish - sure, it wasn't the most sophisticated act I've undertaken in politics. Some accused me of bullying the former-Ukip leader - undermining their argument somewhat by going on to call me a whole host of horrible names. A small number threatened my life.

Quite a few, more understandably, asked me what Nigel Farage had done to deserve having a crudely, off the cuff note held up behind his head. For those people, here's a handy list of just five fibs Nigel Farage told that day and over the past decade. Small disclaimer, this list could have been much, much longer.

1. The lies in Farage's speech this week

Not one lie, but several. He said that Barack Obama had enacted extreme vetting on immigration during his presidency. He didn't. Obama did review the vetting procedures applied to citizens of a single country (Iraq) and then only to refugees and applicants for Special Immigrant Visas, unlike Trump who has ordered a ban on people from seven countries with a population of more than 130million, including tourists and business travellers.

Farage also said Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain refused to take a single refugee or displaced person from Syria, when in fact there are actually 2-3million Syrians in the Gulf countries, many of whom arrived when the war began and are no therefore included in UNHCR statistics. The Saudi government has, since the conflict began in 2011, hosted 2.5million refugees and has given permanent residency to hundreds of thousands of Syrians.

2. Immigrants

When people try to have a sensible, grown up debate about immigration and acknowledge that immigration has been massively important in contributing not just to our society but to the health of our economy and public services - they are dismissed as 'metropolitan elites', that they don't understand. It's a dangerous lie when you start constructing so-called solutions to the problems we face day in day on lies, you end up building an entire machinery of deceit. Nigel Farage has been front and centre of these efforts and should be held to account.

3. The EU is unelected

In his speech, Farage accused the European Commission of being the sole arbiter of legislation in the European Union. He's got form on this, a lot of it. In reality the Commission takes it priorities from elected member state governments (the Council) and performs a role more akin to the British civil service. The third institution, the European Parliament, is made up of directly elected MEPs. Farage should know this by now, he's been one for over 10 years.

4. The majority of our laws are made by the EU

Farage and his ilk have been getting away with this one for too long. He claims that 70% of the laws in the UK are made by the EU. The real number is difficult to quantify, but the independent House of Commons library put it at just 13.2%.

5. The EU costs Britain £55million a day

Every time I hear this I'm immediately transported back to the referendum campaign and it makes me want to put my head through a wall. Let's be clear, the EU does not cost £55million every day. This is double the real number and does not account for the benefits we get back. And before you ask, no, £350million extra a week will not be given to the NHS when we leave. Nigel Farage and every other leading figure who backed leave distanced themselves the morning after the vote.

Seb Dance is a Labour MEP for London