Man throws object at British right-wing leader Nigel Farage

By Thomson Reuters Jun 11, 2024 | 7:44 AM

LONDON (Reuters) -Nigel Farage, the leader of Britain’s right-wing Reform Party, faced a second attempted assault since he began campaigning for next month’s election when a man hurled objects at him during an open-top bus tour on Tuesday.

Farage was travelling through Barnsley in northern England waving to crowds from the bus when a man threw what appeared to be large pieces of broken stone at him as he passed by, footage on social media showed. The objects missed him and the politician appeared unharmed.

Police said they had arrested a 28-year old man on suspicion of public order offences. He was believed to have thrown objects from a construction site.

As the figurehead of euroscepticism and anti-immigrant sentiment, Farage has been a divisive figure in Britain for decades, best known for the leading role he played in encouraging people to vote for Brexit in 2016. He is standing as a candidate in Britain’s July 4 election.

“I will not be bullied or cowed by a violent left-wing mob who hate our country.” he said on X.

Last week a 25-year old woman was charged with assault for throwing a drink in his face from close range as he left a pub.

Farage stepped up as Reform’s new leader last week, heaping pressure on the ruling Conservative Party, which is trailing the main opposition Labour Party in the polls and has been losing support to Reform.

He has long been a thorn in the side of the Conservatives, arguing they need to do more to cut immigration.

In 2019 he was doused in a milkshake while campaigning for the Brexit Party, Reform’s predecessor.

He has in the past made comments that his opponents have accused of being racist. During the Brexit campaign, Farage appeared in front of a poster showing lines of migrants under the slogan “Breaking Point”, while last month he said Muslims did not share British values.

He also regularly provoked the ire of many politicians in the European Parliament during his two decades as a lawmaker there.

(Reporting by Sarah Young; editing by Michael Holden and Angus MacSwan)