Nigel Farage has claimed he has done “more than anyone else” to halt the rise of the far-right in the UK, a comment which prompted critics to point to a series of occasions where the former Ukip leader has divided the country.
Appearing on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show, Farage defended Donald Trump re-tweeting videos by the extremist Britain First group before claiming credit for curbing the rise of the British National Party (BNP).
Questioned about violent clashes that marked a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville where Nazi salutes were made repeatedly, he said:
“I think I have done more than anybody in this country to stop the rise of the far-right Britain.
“I did it by taking away those people who were going out and voting BNP and holding their nose.
“When it comes to dealing with the far-right, I have a very good record.
“Of course I would condemn the extremists in Charlottesville, but the extremists on both sides. And it’s very important that we don’t get stuck...
Former Labour adviser, Ayesha Hazarika, attempted to intervene: “Nigel, you’ve done more to stir up division...”
But Farage continued with a similar line pushed by Trump:
“There are people out there on the left in this country who use violence to pursue their means. There is bad on both sides, it is important to recognise that, very important.”
Many were incredulous.
Among a number of times Farage has drawn criticism for his divisive remarks, he was condemned by Ukip’s only MP for saying migrants with HIV should be be stopped from coming into the UK, saying Britain should “put our own people first”.
The Ukp leader has also said parts of Britain are “like a foreign land”, and that he felt “awkward” on a train journey in central London when he heard only foreign languages spoken by his fellow passengers.
Perhaps most infamously, Farage unveiled a pro-Brexit billboard that showed a queue of refugees and claimed the UK was at “breaking point” - with even Brexiteer Michael Gove saying it made him “shudder”.