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Nigel Farage On The Rack Over Claim Rishi Sunak ‘Doesn’t Understand Our Culture’

In Europe
June 09, 2024
Laura Kuenssberg quizzed Nigel Farage on BBC1.

Laura Kuenssberg quizzed Nigel Farage on BBC1. BBC

Nigel Farage was left squirming this morning over his claim that Rishi Sunak “doesn’t understand our history and our culture”.

The Reform UK leader made the comment after the prime minister left the D-Day commemoration early.

But on BBC1 this morning, Laura Kuenssberg said viewers “might imagine that you are trying, not very subtly, to emphasise the prime minister’s immigrant heritage”.

Farage insisted he was referring to the PM’s “class and privilege”.

But work and pensions secretary Mel Stride said Farage’s remarks were “deeply regrettable”.

In their interview, Kuenssberg told Farage: “I want to ask you about the prime minister’s early exit from the D-Day commemoration this week.

“After that, you said that he wasn’t patriotic and you said that Rishi Sunak didn’t understand our history and our culture’. What did you mean by that?”

Farage replied: “Absolutely right. He should have known in his heart that it was right to be there. I was there, I’ve been raising money for some weeks to send veterans back to Normandy.

“The vast majority of people in Britain felt this commemoration was important, and the last opportunity to honour those remnants that are still alive.

“By the way, I know what your question is leading at. Forty per cent of our contribution in World War One and World War Two came from the Commonwelath. He is utterly disconnected by class, by privilege, from how the ordinary folk in this country feel.

“He revealed that, I think spectacularly, when he left Normandy early.”

Laura: “But Mr Farage, when you say ‘our culture’, I think many of our viewers might imagine that you are trying, not very subtly, to emphasise the prime minister’s immigrant heritage.”

Farage replied: “I just made the point, 40% of our contribution in two wars came from the Commonwealth. Clearly, Mr Sunak doesn’t understand that.”

Asked what he thought about Farage’s comments, work and pensions secretary Mel Stride said: “I think they were deeply regrettable comments. I’m not entirely sure he addressed the question you put to him as to what he meant by that.”

He added: “It just seems to be to be an ill-advised thing to have said. I feel very uncomfortable with that.”

Shadow justice secretary Shabana Mahmood said: “This is a classic Nigel Farage trick – lean in just enough to signal a bit of a dog whistle and then lean back and sound perfectly reasonable and say some thing good about the contribution Commonwealth soldiers and ethnic minorities made towards the war effort.

“We can all see exactly what Nigel Farage is doing, he’s got form, it’s completely unacceptable. This is a man who has a track record of seeking to divide communities.”

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