EXCL Nigel Farage brands BBC 'the enemy' after angry interview over past statements
Nigel Farage has launched a ferocious attack on the BBC after veteran presenter Andrew Marr tried to quiz him about his controversial previous statements.
The Brexit Party leader was asked whether he still thought people with HIV should not be allowed into Britain and whether he still admired Vladimir Putin, but said: “I’ve never in my life seen a more ridiculous interview than this!”
He later echoed US president Donald Trump when he told PoliticsHome: "The BBC are now the enemy."
A bombshell poll this morning revealed the former Ukip leader is not only on course to win the European Parliament votes on 23 May, but could win 49 seats in Westminster at the next general election.
The Brexit Party has more support ahead of the EU votes than the Conservatives and Labour put together, and beats the Tories by a percentage point when it comes to Westminster voting intention.
But he lashed out at the BBC this morning when Mr Marr tried to probe what a Nigel Farage-led Government might look like - based on his past comments.
He was asked if he still believed worrying about global warming was a waste of time, whether he still wanted gun regulations rolled back and whether he was still offended by hearing foreign languages on trains.
But despite suggesting he stood by all his previous statements, Mr Farage blasted: “Here we are with one of the biggest changes in politics that has ever occured and you are not even interested! What is wrong with the BBC?”
He went on: “I’ve been going around the country speaking at packed rallies every night and do you know who is not there? The BBC. And with this line of questioning I can see why. You are just not interested are you?”
“Let’s talk about democracy, let’s talk about trust, let's talk about competence in politics, this is ludicrous.”
And he fumed: “I’ve never in my life seen a more ridiculous interview than this! You are not prepared to talk about what is going on in his country today.
“You are in denial. The BBC is in denial. The Tory and Labour parties are in denial. I think you are all in for a bigger surprise on Thursday week than you can even imagine.”
He told PoliticsHome: "They have ignored our events, failed until this week to put us on any major programmes, and now behave with outrageous bias. The BBC are now the enemy."
US president Mr Trump - a fan of Mr Farage - is famed for saying the press is the "enemy of the people".
But BBC live programmes editor Rob Burley argued the interview was "excellent" as he took to Twitter to defend it.
Education Secretary Damian Hinds appeared to admit that his party would face a drubbing at the European elections, when he said people saw them as the "ultimate protest vote".
He told the same show: "Actually, ironically this is, in a sense, for some people, this is the second referendum."
Meanwhile, Labour former Prime Minister Tony Blair urged voters to reject the Brexit Party at the ballot box on 23 May.
He told the Sophy Ridge show on Sky News: “What we’ve got to realise is that Nigel Farage and the people associated with him, they are not the people to drain the swamp of British politics."
He added: "They’re the people that created the swamp.”