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Farage won BBC’s seven-way election debate, poll finds

In Europe
June 08, 2024

Nigel Farage won Friday night’s seven-way BBC election debate, a snap poll has found.

The survey of 1,031 voters, by More in Common, found the new Reform UK leader had come out on top in the debate, followed by Angela Rayner, Labour’s deputy. He received 25 per cent of the vote, with Ms Rayner on 19 per cent.

The Green Party’s Carla Denyer was the third most popular, with 11 per cent, the SNP’s Stephen Flynn received 10 per cent and the Conservatives’ Penny Mordaunt took seven per cent.

Daisy Cooper, the deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats, and Plaid Cymru’s Rhun ap Iorwerth, took five and two per cent respectively.

Mr Farage, who returned to frontline politics for Reform last week and is as a candidate to be the MP in Clacton, Essex, challenged his political rivals on immigration and net zero policies.

He claimed Britain was living through a “population crisis” that is “making us poorer” and said that, from the end of the 1940s, migration was around 30,000 to 40,000 a year.

But 2.7 million came in under Tony Blair’s government and 4.3 million under the Tories despite their “under tens of thousands a year” 2010 manifesto pledge.

Following a fiery exchange between Ms Mordaunt and Ms Rayner over green policies, Mr Farage said Britain was “living in a fool’s paradise” and called net zero “a bad policy” that is “bad for people”.

He said the UK was exporting carbon emissions by taxing companies and driving production overseas, and also claimed the country needed to “change the funding model” for the NHS and adopt a French-style system.

He added that France, which invests around the same amount of money in its health service as the UK, gets significantly better outcomes for key treatments and praised its model, based on statutory health insurance, where workers and businesses pay in through a number of schemes.

The Reform UK leader also told the audience: “You can go shoplifting now, any of you,” saying there was “a societal decline of law and order in this country”. He backed more stop and search powers and said police should not be worried about being called racist.

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