Nigel Farage claims Ukip poster 'would not have caused such a row' without Jo Cox death

Posted On: 
19th June 2016

Nigel Farage has claimed Ukip’s controversial immigration poster would not have triggered such a row without the death of Jo Cox.

Nigel Farage defends contraversial poster
Credit: 
PA Images

The Ukip leader unveiled a picture of refugees fleeing the war in Syria alongside the slogan ‘Breaking Point – The EU has failed us all’.

The image was taken on the Slovenian border last October.

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Mr Farage this morning defended the poster, saying it was “the truth about what’s going on”, after Michael Gove said he "shuddered" when he saw it and George Osborne compared it to Nazi propaganda.

He also argued the row would not have happened without the Labour MP’s death - despite the fact that the poster had already been condemned by pro-EU MPs as "the politics of the gutter" before the tragedy.

The Ukip leader told Sky News: “That poster reflects the truth of what's going on. We have a new poster coming out tomorrow morning and we'll unveil a new poster for every day."

When Mr Farage was asked if he wished he hadn't unveiled the poster, he replied: "I wish an innocent Member of Parliament hadn't been gunned down on the street.

"That's the point, and frankly had that not happened, I don't think we would have had the kind of row that we've had over it."

He added: “There was a big momentum developing right across the country, [then] a tragic death... It's difficult to see where either of the campaigns go."

MPs on both the Remain and Leave sides have lambasted the poster.

Mr Osborne launched a furious attack on the poster during an appearance on ITVs Peston on Sunday.

He said: “I think there is a difference between addressing those concerns [about immigration] in a reasonable way and whipping up concerns, whipping up division, making baseless assertions that millions of people are going to come into the country in the next couple of years from Turkey, or saying that dead bodies are going to wash up on the beaches of Kent," he said.

"Or, indeed, putting up that disgusting and vile poster that Nigel Farage did which had echoes of literature used in the 1930s.

“That is what we should say no to and this referendum vote is a vote on the kind of Britain we want.”

Pro-Brexit Mr Gove told the BBC the poster was "the wrong thing to do" and John Mann, another MP who is backing a Leave vote, said Mr Farage should withdraw it.

"It’s unhelpful, it’s inaccurate, it’s irrelevant to real debate," Mr Mann said.

However, Mr Farage hit back at the Justice Secretary, saying: “Michael Gove better look at his own posters, pictures of Abu Hamza, warnings about terrorists and murderers coming into Britain at free will.”