Nigel Farage blasts Andrew Marr’s ‘ludicrous’ BBC Brexit interview

Nigel Farage blasts Andrew Marr’s ‘ludicrous’ Brexit interview and his £400k BBC salary – but the broadcaster insists he ‘won’t be intimidated’

  • Nigel Farage clashed with Andrew Marr live on BBC One on Sunday morning 
  • He was questioned over past statements on the NHS and Vladimir Putin 
  • Mr Farage said Marr’s interview was about issues ‘entirely unrelated to election’
  • He said: ‘It was bizarre the ludicrous line of questioning persisted all the way’
  • Mr Marr has hit back by endorsing tweet saying that he ‘won’t be intimidated’ 

Nigel Farage has again blasted Andrew Marr, his ‘ludicrous’ interview and his £400,000 BBC salary – but the journalist has hit back saying he ‘won’t be intimidated’.

The Brexit Party leader, 55, clashed with the broadcaster, 59, on his Sunday morning TV show in a row that has shocked and split viewers. 

Mr Farage’s new party is flying in the polls and is predicted to win the popular vote when the European elections take place on May 23.

On Sunday Mr Marr had brought up his past comments about the NHS and admiring Vladimir Putin, and the irate Brexiteer replied: ‘I’ve never in my life seen a more ridiculous interview than this. You are not prepared to talk about what is going on in this country today. You’re in denial, the BBC is in denial’.

Campaigning in Pontefract, West Yorkshire, yesterday, Mr Farage said: ‘It was bizarre that the ludicrous line of questioning persisted all the way through.

‘The idea was to use up all the time talking about irrelevances and inaccuracies, rather than talking about a major election taking place next Thursday. That’s why I took the attitude that I did.’

In another blast at the BBC he said: ‘The BBC is a public service broadcaster. We are essentially taxed on the BBC. £150 a year goes to the BBC, the licence fee. People like Andrew Marr get £400,000 a year from this money. This was not public service broadcasting’.

The row between Andrew Marr and Nigel Farage has continued after their bombastic clash on the BBC on Sunday (pictured) 

Andrew Marr has remained largely quiet on the controversial clash – but backed his BBC colleague Rob Burley who said Marr ‘won’t be intimidated’

‘You’ve got a brand new political movement that’s come from nothing and is leading the polls. I would have thought on the first big interview on TV, it might be interesting to find out how and why that has happened’.  

Nigel Farage takes aim at ‘vulnerable’ Labour in Yvette Cooper’s Yorkshire seat

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage poses for a selfie with a member of the public during a ‘walkabout’ campaigning for the European Parliament election in Pontefract

Nigel Farage has said that the Labour party is ‘vulnerable in the most extraordinary way’ in Leave areas in the north of England.

The Brexit Party leader was speaking during a visit to Pontefract, West Yorkshire, part of Labour MP Yvette Cooper’s constituency, where 70% of voters voted to leave the EU.

Mr Farage said he had seen a lot of anger and passion in Labour Leave areas in northern towns, as he toured the UK ahead of next week’s European election.

He said: ‘The passion seems even stronger in Labour Leave areas than in Conservative Leave areas.

‘Whether that’s because people in the north of England wear their hearts on their sleeves more, I don’t know.’

Mr Farage spoke to members of the public who told him that they were usually Labour voters, but would be voting for the Brexit Party in the forthcoming election.

He said: ‘It’s areas like this where I think the Labour party is vulnerable in the most extraordinary way.’

He continued: ‘This is a 70% Leave constituency, these five towns voted Leave by a massive margin’.

Andrew Marr has stayed largely quiet over the row, although the BBC’s TV politics chief Rob Burley insists that Mr Marr’s line of questioning was fair and impartial.

Mr Marr then retweeted a message from his colleague saying: ‘Andrew Marr and the rest of us will just carry on doing OUR job and we won’t be intimidated’. 

Viewers have leapt to the defence of Nigel Farage. 

Twitter users attacked the BBC, saying that the interview had been a ‘hatchet job’ and Mr Farage himself complained today that it had brought up subjects ‘entirely unrelated to this election’.

Piers Morgan was among those who took the side of Mr Farage, saying in a row with former Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell that ‘hysterical’ critics were helping propel Farage ‘into Downing Street’.

But other twitter users were less sympathetic, with many saying it was right that he be held to account and some suggestion that he appeared on the BBC too often. 

But Jason Keen, a producer on the Andrew Marr programme, defended its handling of the Brexit Party leader.

Writing on Twitter he said: ‘It is not true Marr ”didn’t ask Nigel Farage anything relevant to EU elections” Andrew questioned him for 9 mins on: The mandate for no deal (Farage’s flagship policy) (and) whether 2nd ref or a Brexit deal that keeps us close to EU would be ”betrayal” (one of his key arguments).’

It came as Mr Farage hit out at being prevented from meeting US President Donald Trump during this summer’s state visit, saying: ‘Theresa May doesn’t care about the national interest.’

He claimed that he had been banned by the Government from meeting Mr Trump on the President’s last visit to the UK last year.

But Downing Street insisted the claims were ‘nonsense’, adding that the President had not even asked to meet the ex-Ukip boss. 

Nigel Farage’s (pictured with Anne Widdecombe) Brexit Party was in Featherstone yesterday, an ex-pit town near Pontefract where 70 per cent of residents voted to leave the EU.

Yesterday, Mr Farage attacked Labour MPs during a campaign rally in the party’s Yorkshire heartland yesterday.

The Brexit Party leader held a reception at a working men’s club in the town of Featherstone, West Yorkshire, next to Labour MP Yvette Cooper’s constituency.

He spent the morning meeting residents in nearby Pontefract telling supporters: ‘I can’t think of a better constituency for the Brexit party to visit. Because 70 per cent of you in that referendum voted to leave.’

‘And the next year your MP Yvette Cooper made a series of promises to you. She promised she would respect the vote and she boasted that she voted for Article 50.

‘Yet despite all of that, I cannot think of an MP who has done more in the last two years than to stop us leaving the EU.’

Earlier in the day, Mr Farage said it was his ‘duty’ to stand as an MP in the next general election. He told LBC: ‘I’m going to have to [stand] of course. It’s a duty, it’s a duty, it’s a duty.

‘We cannot ever allow again a great democratic exercise like this to be railroaded aside by career politicians of the Labour and Tory parties’.

Marr V Farage: Brexit Party leader answered questions but asked why they were being asked

In a tense exchange full of interruptions, Nigel Farage gave Andrew Marr some of the answers he was asking for, but angrily slammed the BBC for ‘trawling back through a series of quotes from years ago’. 

Andrew Marr: The only way that we can really judge the Brexit Party in the round at the moment is by looking at its leader, looking at you. So let’s look at you for a moment.

Nigel Farage: Well…

On the NHS, Mr Farage said he would ‘gleefully’ opt out of the NHS and pay into a private scheme if encouraged to do so

Marr: Do you still want to replace the NHS with a private insurance based system?

Farage: I never did. I would like to take the burden off the NHS. I mean, if you want to go back…

Marr: Yes I do want to go back

Farage: This is really very boring isn’t it

Marr: No it’s not boring

Farage: All you want to do is go back to stuff from years ago, why don’t we talk about now, in British politics. Why don’t we talk about the sea-change that is going on out there.

Marr: You are trying to lead an insurgent party to replace the main parties. Therefore you are an important figure, in this. [Quoting] ‘I think we’re going to have to move to an insurance-based system of healthcare, I would feel more comfortable, my money would return value if I was able to do that through the marketplace of an insurance company than just trusting giving a hundred billion pounds a year to central government.’ Do you still hold that view?

Farage: If I was encouraged to opt-out of the system, to relieve the burden off the National Health Service, I would do so gleefully/. Do you want to discuss these european elections or not?

Marr: Yes I certainly do but…

Farage: Go on then. Go on then, lets’ try.

Marr: Do you still believe that worrying about global warming is ‘the stupidest thing in human history’?

Farage: I believe that if we decided, this country, to tax ourselves to the hilt, to put hundreds of thousands of people out of work in the manufacturing industries, given that we produce less than two per cent of global CO2, that isn’t terribly intelligent. But as I say: here we are, with one of the biggest changes in politics that has ever occurred…

On climate change, he said it would be ‘not terribly intelligent’ to raise taxes and risk jobs ‘given we produce less than 2% of CO2’. Pic: Climate protests in London

Marr: Okay…

Farage: … and you’re not even interested?

Marr: Do you still…

Farage: What’s wrong with the BBC?

Marr: Do you still want to…

Farage: What is wrong with the BBC?

Marr: Do you still want to roll back gun controls and reintroduce hand guns in this country?

Farage: What is wrong … This sums it up. Do you know, I’ve been going around the country, speaking at packed rallies every night, and do you know who’s not there? The BBC. And from this line of questioning now I can see why.

Marr: Do you still…

Farage: You’re just not interested are you?

Marr: Do you still feel uncomfortable with…

Farage: You are just…

Marr: … foreign languages being spoken on the train?

Farage: …not interested are you. Let’s talk about democracy, let’s talk about trust, let’s talk about competence in politics. This. Is. Ludicrous.

Marr: Do you still feel that people with HIV shouldn’t be allowed into this country?

Farage: Do I think the National Health Service is there for British people? Yes I absolutely do.

Marr: So you still do. Do you…

Farage: This is absolutely ludicrous. I’ve never in my life seen a more ridiculous interview than this. You are not prepared to talk about what is going on in this country today. You’re in denial, the BBC’s in denial, the Tory and Labour Parties are in denial. I think you’re all in for a bigger surprise on Thursday week…

Marr: We have talked about it…

Farage: … than you can imagine.

Marr: We have talked about it. Do you still admire Vladimir Putin?

He said he didn’t ‘admire’ Russian President Vladimir Putin as a person

Farage: No. I’ve never admired Vladimir Putin.

Marr: You, Well you asked which current…

Farage: I said I wouldn’t like to live in his country

Marr: Asked which world leader you most admired you told GQ..

Farage: This is absolute nonsense.

Marr: … magazine ‘as an operator but not as a human being, I would say Putin’

Farage: Well there you are

Marr: ‘The way he played the whole’ …

Farage: Well there you are

Marr: … ‘Syria thing’

Farage: Well there you are. Not as a human being. I don’t like him as a human being. What is your question? What is the relevance of this?

Marr: I’m trying to work out where you are and where the Brexit Party which wants to destroy the political system is going.

Farage: You haven’t asked about a single other member of the Brexit Party, you haven’t commented on the fact we have the most diverse list of candidates of any party fighting in this election.

Marr: From the Revolutionary Communist Party right through to the Right

Farage: Well that’s worth discussing isn’t it. How have we managed to get Left and Right together. These things are really interesting to your viewers. Not trawling back through a series of quotes from years ago.

Marr: Do you still want to slash the size of the state?

Farage: Absolutely. I want people to have more freedom. Absolutely, and particularly, 5.4 million people out there, acting as sole traders, running small businesses, and there’s nobody in government on their side. Let’s make their lives easier. They’ll create more jobs, pay more taxes, and it’ll be good for our country.





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