Nigel Farage had a disastrous interview on LBC this morning. Photo: YouTube
Show Hide image

“What is racism?” Nigel Farage’s disastrous interview on LBC

The Ukip leader had a car-crash interview with LBC's James O’Brien this morning, only made worse by his director of communications Patrick O’Flynn interrupting him live on air.

Nigel Farage was mauled live on air by LBC's James O'Brien this morning, in over 22 painful minutes of questioning over whether his party is racist, how comfortable he is with his wife speaking German, and his financial arrangements. During a heated exchange about his MEP expense allowances, his communications director, former Daily Express journalist Patrick O'Flynn, felt the need to interrupt the interview live on air: "I'm sorry, we had an agreement about timing, you've massively..." The Ukip leader waved him away, looking, if possible, even more flustered.

Watch the interview here:

And if it's too eye-watering for you to watch, here are the worst bits:

 - Referring to a comment Farage made recently about non-English speakers on a train journey, he was asked whether he feels "uncomfortable" that his wife speaks German. "I don't suppose she speaks it on the train", he replied.

 - Having been repeatedly asked what the difference is between having German people living nextdoor, or Romanians, he said, "you know what the difference is".

 - On being questioned about racism in his party, he asked, "what is racism?"

 - Being interrupted live by his comms chief, Patrick O'Flynn, formerly of the Express – who O'Brien pointed out as someone who could reasonably be referred to as "a friend in the media" or "a member of the political class", traits Farage condemns in the other political parties.

Anoosh Chakelian is senior writer at the New Statesman.

Getty
Show Hide image

Lord Sainsbury pulls funding from Progress and other political causes

The longstanding Labour donor will no longer fund party political causes. 

Centrist Labour MPs face a funding gap for their ideas after the longstanding Labour donor Lord Sainsbury announced he will stop financing party political causes.

Sainsbury, who served as a New Labour minister and also donated to the Liberal Democrats, is instead concentrating on charitable causes. 

Lord Sainsbury funded the centrist organisation Progress, dubbed the “original Blairite pressure group”, which was founded in mid Nineties and provided the intellectual underpinnings of New Labour.

The former supermarket boss is understood to still fund Policy Network, an international thinktank headed by New Labour veteran Peter Mandelson.

He has also funded the Remain campaign group Britain Stronger in Europe. The latter reinvented itself as Open Britain after the Leave vote, and has campaigned for a softer Brexit. Its supporters include former Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg and Labour's Chuka Umunna, and it now relies on grassroots funding.

Sainsbury said he wished to “hand the baton on to a new generation of donors” who supported progressive politics. 

Progress director Richard Angell said: “Progress is extremely grateful to Lord Sainsbury for the funding he has provided for over two decades. We always knew it would not last forever.”

The organisation has raised a third of its funding target from other donors, but is now appealing for financial support from Labour supporters. Its aims include “stopping a hard-left take over” of the Labour party and “renewing the ideas of the centre-left”. 

Julia Rampen is the digital news editor of the New Statesman (previously editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog). She has also been deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines. 

0800 7318496