Farage has drink thrown on him at Clacton election launch


Nigel Farage had what appeared to be a banana milkshake thrown over him

Two people have been arrested after Nigel Farage had a drink thrown over him while launching his personal election campaign in Clacton.

The Reform UK leader was leaving a pub after carrying out media interviews when a woman appeared to launch a McDonald’s banana milkshake over his face and suit jacket.

Essex Police said a 25-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of assault.

While making the arrest, the force said a man was also detained on suspicion of assaulting an emergency worker.

“Both individuals remain in custody for questioning,” a police spokesperson said.

The politician was walking out of the Moon and Starfish pub – a JD Wetherspoon – to the Reform UK party bus at the time.

Mr Farage appeared to make light of the incident later, posing with a tray of four banana milkshakes in the nearby seaside village of Jaywick.

The 60-year-old previously said he would not stand in the general election, before making a U-turn on Monday, when he announced his candidacy in the Essex seat.

grey placeholderGetty Images A woman appears to throw a drink at Nigel Farage's faceGetty Images

Mr Farage was walking to the Reform UK campaign bus, from a local pub, when the incident happened

Prior to the drink incident, Mr Farage said “you will no longer be ignored” as he spoke on the seafront in Clacton-on-Sea.

The constituency, which became the first seat in the UK to elect a UKIP MP in 2014, had a Conservative majority of 24,702 at the last general election in 2019 when Giles Watling was re-elected.

Mr Farage, formerly the leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) and the Brexit Party, told a crowd that “no longer will you be ignored”.

“I hope that having a national figure representing this constituency will put Clacton on the map,” said Mr Farage, who is also now Reform UK’s party leader.

“I will stand up and fight for you… send me to Parliament to be a bloody nuisance.”

Addressing the rally, Mr Farage said the Tories should “pay a big price” for betraying the promises of Brexit.

grey placeholderUK Parliament Giles WatlingUK Parliament

The Conservative candidate Giles Watling said he did not want to see the people of Clacton being “taken for granted”

‘Altar of his vanity’

Mr Watling said he felt it was his job to “transform Clacton’s future” by using government funding he had secured.

Labour candidate Jovan Owusu-Nepaul said Britain was “crying out for change” as the party fought for every seat.

“The only way to bring about change is by voting the Tories out and electing a new Labour government,” he said.

grey placeholderTom Larsen-Wright/BBC Nigel Farage talking to crowds with a microphone at Clacton PierTom Larsen-Wright/BBC

Mr Farage told crowds outside Clacton Pier that “no longer will you be ignored”

The other candidates announced as standing in Clacton so far are:

  • Matthew Bensilum, Liberal Democrats
  • Natasha Osben, Green Party

Analysis

By Ben Schofield, BBC political correspondent, East of England

Even before Mr Farage’s “emergency” press conference on Monday, bookies had slashed the odds of Reform UK winning Clacton.

Without hearing the announcement, punters were apparently predicting that Mr Farage would change his mind about standing in a constituency, as well as the seat he would choose.

But what issues could Clacton’s next MP face?

It had one of the highest pro-Leave votes in the country in the Brexit referendum.

While parts of the constituency are relatively affluent, such as Frinton-on-Sea, it is also home to some of the UK’s most deprived areas and the local economy is heavily reliant on tourism, with almost one million people visiting Clacton Pier in 2022 for example.

Average weekly earnings of those living in the constituency were £593 in 2023, far behind the Eastern average of £706. A higher proportion of 16-64 year olds claim out-of-work benefits than the regional average – 4.9% in April 2024 compared to 3.1% across the East region.

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