‘Absolute tosh!’ Nigel Farage loses his temper as ITV host Charlotte Hawkins repeats false claim that Remain votes ‘add up’ to a majority in Euro elections – even though Brexit Party won
- Brexit Party caused political earthquake by coming first in European elections ahead of the Tories and Labour
- Nigel Farage snapped when challenged on ITV’s GMB about whether Remainer parties were the real winners
- Mr Farage said it was ‘tosh’ to claim that adding up the votes for different parties showed that Brexit had lost
- Ex-Downing Street spin doctor Alastair Campbell was among those trying to paint election as a Remain win
- Tories at war over how to secure Brexit in wake of poll, while Labour MPs demand it backs second referendum
- Home Secretary Sajid Javid has thrown his name into the ring to take over from Theresa May as Prime Minister
- Boris Johnson warned things could get worse for the Tories unless they managed to push through Brexit
The Brexit Party leader raged that pro-EU politicians were just ‘moaning about every single election which they lose’.
The furious rebuke came after some Remainers argued that adding up the votes for anti-Brexit parties could be taken as an indication that the public did not want to leave the EU.
Former No10 spin doctor Alastair Campbell was among those trying to push the interpretation today, insisting it showed why there must be another referendum.
The Brexit Party romped home in the elections today, raking in 31.6 per cent of the vote despite being formed only six weeks ago. The Lib Dems were a distant second on 20.3 per cent, ahead of Labour on 14.1 per cent, the Greens on 12.1 per cent and the Tories with a dismal 9.1 per cent.
Presenter Charlotte Hawkins challenged Mr Farage about the argument as he appeared on ITV’s GMB programme, saying: ‘If you add up all the pro-Remain parties they did get a bigger percentage – 35.8 per cent versus the Brexit party 31.6 per cent. So the pro-Remain parties altogether did get a bigger percentage.’
But a clearly livid Mr Farage shot back by pointing out the obvious flaw in the argument, underlining that the results can be portrayed in various different ways to make political capital.
‘I’m sorry this is absolute tosh, he said. ‘It is not a fact.’
Presenter Charlotte Hawkins (pictured centre) challenged Nigel Farage (right) about the idea that Remain parties won the elections as he appeared on ITV’s GMB programme
Former No10 spin doctor Alastair Campbell was among the Remain supporters insisting Brexiteers had actually lost the elections today
Mr Farage gave his own interpretation of the results as he tackled the claims that were being circulated by Remainers on social media today
The Brexit Party have topped polls in every country or region apart from London. London was won by the Liberal Democrats
The Brexit Party won the vast majority of council areas in England and Wales last night. This map shows the largest party in each area
Mr Farage said: ‘Add up the Brexit vote, add up the Ukip vote.. add the Conservative vote, who are still a party that says we are going to leave, and you will find that Leave beat Remain.
‘In fact what you will find is that overall the country is 52-48 in favour of leaving.’
He added: ‘We are supposed to be a democracy. We were promised this would be implemented.’
Labour tears itself apart over a new referendum as frontbenchers line up to demand a new poll
Jeremy Corbyn Labour Party was engulfed by a bitter Brexit civil war over a second referendum today after a brutal night in the European elections saw it humiliated.
Shadow chancellor John McDonnell and shadow home secretary Diane Abbott both spoke out publicly in support of a ‘public vote’ after it slump to a predicted third behind the Brexit Party and the resurgent Liberal Democrats.
Labour is well behind Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party and the Lib Dems. Even in Mr Corbyn’s Islington back yard Labour only managed to come second.
It is being consumed by an acrimonious split between MPs in Remain-supporting areas and those in Leave seats who fear a backlash at the next general election.
After the result Mr McDonnell said Labour could unite the party and country by ‘taking (the) issue back to people in a public vote’ and Ms Abbott said that the party had been damaged by not having a ‘clearer line’ on the issue.
Foreign secretary Emily Thornberry was among those to blast the party’s ‘unclear’ strategy and demand a second referendum after Labour’s thrashing.
Ms Thornberry warned were ‘getting a good kicking’ as the unashamedly pro-Remain Lib Dems ate into the Labour vote.
Deputy leader Tom Watson demanded an ‘urgent’ change of direction, warning that it will soon be too late to stop the UK from crashing out of the EU without a deal.
And shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer said that the public should be offered a choice between ‘a credible leave option and remain’.
But shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon – a key Corbyn lieutenant – insisted Labour had the right approach in seeking to appeal to both Leavers and Remainers despite its failures.
It came after Mr Corbyn himself has said ‘this issue will have to go back to the people’ as the shadow Cabinet turned on him – although he again dodged stating whether there should be a general election or a single-issue vote.
The results of the Euro elections have plunged both the Tories and Labour deeper into crisis, as they tear themselves to pieces over their Brexit policies.
Candidates to take over from Theresa May – who announced her departure on Friday – have been competing to sound more hawkish about the need to get the UK out of the EU by the end of October.
Meanwhile, Jeremy Corbyn is desperately trying to keep a lid on a civil war over whether to back a second referendum that could cancel the Brexit process altogether.
Green Party MP Caroline Lucas was among the Remainers to insist Mr Farage was wrong to say Leave had won the election.
She told the Today programme: ‘I don’t think that’s right, I think the Brexit Party got about 35 per cent of the vote and the strongly Remain parties got about 40 per cent of the vote.
‘So either way you look at it the Brexit Party has got nothing like the 17 million they had before.
‘The point is let’s just try and rule out the kind of terrifying vision for this country of no deal, that literally should go.’
Labour MEP Richard Corbett also weighed in, jibing that the number of Remainer party MEPs returned in the poll was actually higher than five years ago at 37.
He added the Brexit Party and Conservatives together to claim that Eurosceptics only had 33 MEPs – fewer than last time – saying: ‘Clear swing from Leave to Remain!’
However, the maths only works as Mr Corbett classed Labour as a Remain party – whereas actually the leadership has been insisting it will deliver on the 2016 Brexit vote.
Senior Labour MP Hilary Benn stated that the election result was a clear rejection of No Deal Brexit.
‘Tonight the Brexit Party wasn’t supported by around two-thirds of voters and No Deal was rejected,’ he tweeted.
‘The country remains divided. The only way to resolve this is to go back to the British people in a confirmatory referendum. Labour must now back this policy clearly.’
The corporation faced fury for emphasising the strong performance of the Remain-supporting Greens and Liberal Democrats rather than focusing on Mr Farage’s victory.
BBC presenters were also taken to task for allowing former Mr Campbell to grill another guest over the Brexit Party’s finances.
During the programme Mr Campbell admitted he had voted for the Lib Dems in the election – something that could trigger his expulsion from Labour.
He said it had been the first time in his life that he had not voted for the Labour Party, launching a blistering attack warning its ‘policy of riding two horses has failed’.
Some viewers of the BBC’s election broadcast took aim at former Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell (pictured) over his comments about the Brexit Party
Labour MEP Richard Corbett also weighed in, jibing that the number of Remainer party MEPs returned in the poll was actually higher than five years ago at 37
As UK politics went up in flames over Brexit today, David Cameron was celebrating Aston Villa taking the lead in the Championship football playoff against Derby at Wembley
Mr Farage (pictued at the BBC studios in London today) raged that pro-EU politicians were just ‘moaning about every single election which they lose’