Guardian News and Media/London
The Brexit Party will present a “full slate” of policy ideas once next week’s European elections are over, Nigel Farage has pledged, as he ramped up his attacks on the BBC following a bad-tempered television interview on Sunday.
Addressing a party rally in west Yorkshire, Farage said that up until the European elections, where his party leads in the polls, he would talk only about Brexit-related matters.
“Thereafter, of course we’re going to put a full slate of policies up before the public – political reform, more help for the regions, scrapping of ludicrous projects like HS2,” he told the crowd in Featherstone, near Pontefract.
The rally saw Farage condemn “career politicians who have never done a deal in their lives” as the cause of the Brexit impasse. Ann Widdecombe, the former Tory minister who is standing in the south-west for the Brexit party, condemned the civil service and said the group would “sweep the traitors out of Westminster”.
In an earlier media interview yesterday, Farage rounded on the BBC in the wake of an interview the previous day in which he was visibly angered after being asked about previous statements he had made.
Appearing on BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show, Farage said it was “ludicrous” that he should be asked about his previously stated views on areas including the best form of Brexit, a second referendum, privatising the NHS, migration and gun control.
Later that day he told the Politics Home website: “The BBC are now the enemy.” Speaking to Talk Radio yesterday, Farage said he believed the BBC had “no interest in dealing with this election fairly”, adding: “In fact, until this week nobody from the Brexit party had appeared on any major BBC programme.”
Talking about his series of party rallies, he said: “What I never see at these events are the BBC. They have literally denied our existence from day one, and when we get on to a major interview they don’t want to talk about this campaign, they don’t want to talk about our candidates, they don’t want to challenge Brexit and the way in which we want to do it.
“All they want to do is drag up a series of comments, some made as long as 10 years ago, in many cases hopelessly out of context, and that for me is a failure of public service broadcasting.”
Asked in the same interview whether he could potentially work with the Conservatives to deliver Brexit, Farage said this would only happen if the party elected a leader who supported ‘no deal’ and “who gets rid of the Hammonds, and all the Remainers in the Cabinet”.
He added: “I think the Conservatives’ problems are deeper than just who the leader is. I’m not sure that a new leader necessarily turns the Conservative party round, because it will still be the same group of MPs.”
Speaking at the rally, Farage was scathing about the government: “It’s about a group of career politicians who have never done a deal in their lives, going into this negotiation being outwitted and outfoxed at every turn.”
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