Nigel Farage has argued that it is perfectly acceptable for white people to “black up” their faces, arguing that political correctness has "gone too far" - others, however, have disagreed with the Ukip leader and branded him a "racist."
Fresh on the back of Mike Read's Ukip Calypso scandal, which also prompted accusations of racial insensitivity, the Eurosceptic MEP discussed what makes something offensive on the ITV show The Agenda.
During the interview, Farage was asked: "Is any white man blacking up his face and pretending to be a black man of its nature offensive?"
To which he robustly answered: "I don't think it is, no. We have really gone too far with all of this."
But others took to Twitter to make it clear they disagreed with the Ukip leader's attitude:
Farage does not think that there is anything wrong with 'blacking up'. Says all you need to know really. Racist.— Andy Payne (@PercyBlakeney63) October 27, 2014
Just turned over to the agenda on ITV to hear Nigel Farage say blacking up was OK. They are going mad in Bongo Bongo land.— Paul Watson (@rpaul71) October 27, 2014
— douglas beattie (@alpha_beatt) October 27, 2014ADVERTISEMENT
Farage is fine with Morris dancers blacking up. Unclear what anyone black has to say about it.— Occult-inspired Karl (@karlusss) October 27, 2014
FARAGE THINKS BLACKING UP IS PERFECTLY FINE #ITV— Rob B. (@_Rob_B) October 27, 2014
“@mariejulian: Nigel Farage just said he doesn't think that "blacking up" is not racist or offensive... Errrrrr............” He's a mug— Jordan (@JordanYeezus) October 27, 2014
Farage on #TheAgenda: "I don't think blacking up is offensive." Oh sweet Jesus.— Rachel Gerrish (@RLGerrish) October 27, 2014
During yesterday's interview, Farage argued that there's a "huge difference between people causing offence and people doing what Mike Read did and having a bit of fun.
“Or the other day when David Cameron was photographed with some people who were blacked up."
Farage has previously voiced his support for former Radio One DJ Read who recently issued an apology and pulled the controversial pro-Ukip song sung in a faux-Jamaican accent dedicated to the party's leader.
Ukip blamed "synthetic outrage" for the DJ's decision - accusing "right on" critics of depriving a charity of cash to help the fight against Ebola.
Earlier this month, the Prime Minister was accused of making a PR blunder after posing for a picture with a group of backed-up Morris dancers.
Labour MP Mark Hendrick said Cameron, who appeared in the picture with his daughter at the Banbury Folk Festival on Saturday, had associated himself with an "outdated form of entertainment".
"In the 21st century this is bordering on the ridiculous that people in the name of entertainment or fundraising still need to 'black up'," he said.
But others defended Cameron, saying the facepaint has no racist meaning and is simply a traditional part of the costume.
One person tweeted: "They aren't 'blacked up', its a non-racial folk tradition about hidden identity."
David Cameron poses with a group of blacked up white guys. What the hell did he think he was doing?— Dan Hodges (@DPJHodges) October 13, 2014
Forget the debates or Carswell, Cameron with some blacked-up morris dancers is about to be the political clip du jour http://t.co/BteC9srL1a— Dylan Sharpe (@dylsharpe) October 13, 2014
The Morris Ring, the National Association of Men's Morris & Sword Dance Club, states on its website: "Dancers may have their faces blackened or otherwise disguised ... Disguising the face in this way is well-known in English social history: men wishing to pursue proscribed activities would black their faces to avoid recognition: such activities could include both smuggling and morris dancing."