Police have launched an investigation after Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage pledged to “take the knife to pen pushers in Whitehall” while talking to a 500-person-strong audience at a rally in Wales.
Mr Farage’s comments, which were aimed at Britain’s Civil Service, almost immediately drew condemnation. Northern Ireland’s Alliance Party MEP Naomi Long asked police on Twitter if they were planning on investigating “this clear incitement to violence against staff in the civil service.”
Gwent police in Wales responded, saying that, “we have been made aware of comments made last night in Newport and we are looking into these allegations.”
Thank you for your message. We have been made aware of comments made last night in Newport and we are looking into these allegations. Thanks— Gwent Police (@gwentpolice) 28 September 2019
Not everyone appears to agree that Mr Farage's comments merit investigation by the police.
The world has gone mad— jason (@jasonfchef) 28 September 2019
Let people just say what they feel in the moment and not be taken out of context
Farage triggers the woke.— rinka the dog (@rinka_dog) 28 September 2019
The news comes amidst increasing concern about the use of incendiary language by MPs in the context of the Brexit debate. On Friday, UK former Home Secretary Amber Rudd accused Prime Minister Boris Johnson of “inciting violence” by calling opposition attempts to delay Brexit a “Surrender Act” and accusing those who support it of “betraying” the people.
Parliamentary anger boiled over earlier on in the week when Labour MP Paula Sherriff announced to MPs that she regularly receives death threats for her Remain stance on Brexit, and that many of those threatening her “quoted his [Johnson’s] words.” However, Johnson struck down the accusation that he employs inflammatory language as “humbug.”
Mr Johnson also irked opposition MPs by openly declaring that the best way to honour the memory of slain Labour MP Jo Cox, who was murdered in 2016 by an English nationalist, was to “deliver Brexit.”
Yet, Mr Farage is himself no stranger to being condemned for employing what some feel to be controversial language. In August while attending the Conservative Political Action Conference in Australia, he said that Prince Harry had “fallen off a cliff” after meeting his new wife Meghan Markle. Labour MP Stephen Doughty subsequently slammed the remark as “laced with barely concealed racism.”