Yesterday, on the 21st May, Nigel Farage, former UKIP leader, was hit by a Five Guys banana and salted caramel milkshake during his one hour visit to Newcastle, designed to help him to campaign for the Thursday European elections.
Farage, giving a talk near Newcastle Monument, had just finished his speech when this occurred. He was walking away with his security staff, when his security team left a gap big enough for Paul Crowther to throw a milkshake at him. This is not a new incident, and has happened to many far right candidates in the European elections campaign in the past, but it still managed to infuriate Farage.
Farage blamed it on his security team, saying that it was an utter “failure”, and said that they should have seen it coming.
Crowther, aged 32, had just been to Five Guys to buy his £5.25 milkshake, when he saw the perfect opportunity to act upon his political beliefs. Crowther committed this act on Blackett Street, and has since said that he does not regret his actions. On Crowther’s twitter, “The Mad Brewer”, he has also rejoiced at his action saying “I f***ing did it, it was Farage, I can’t believe I did it.” When talking to the press, he has also said that his action is nothing compared to the “bile and racism” that Nigel Farage “spouts out”. It seems a very impulsive act that Crowther had not previously planned.
A Newcastle University student was at this scene. Stephen Dawes explained how this happened, with the security team getting “all out of shape”. '“As they crossed the road, a gap opened up and this guy just lunges on in and quickly splashed him.”'
Crowther was arrested by a community support officer, on the terms of common assault, and the police were then called. The response to this radical action was noted by Dawes, who said that there was a '“cheer and a boo when it happened.”'
Newcastle student, Christopher Winter who was also present commented, '"There was a chorus of panic and some shouting afterwards. Some counter protestors there started laughing but the mood amongst the crowd was mainly that of confusion. The man who threw the drink was very quickly dragged away by a PCSO and a policeman."'
'"I think it’s disgraceful that we have come to a point in British politics where Candidates cannot walk around the street without feeling fearful that they could be attacked in this manner. We pride ourselves on being a fair democracy and using political violence like this will only vilify the remain argument more-so."'
Farage blames his security team for allowing the event to take place, but he said that at the heart of this assault was that remainers have been “radicalised to the extent that normal campaigning has become impossible.” He has blamed politicians and their refusal to accept the referendum result.
Farage has two days left of campaigning before the elections, only time will tell if anything like this happens again in this time…