Anti-Ukip protesters in fancy dress forced Nigel Farage to flee his local pub where he was dining with his family on Sunday afternoon.
The Ukip leader called the demonstrators “scum”, claiming they had caused his children distress. The group, however, said they were holding a “cabaret of diversity” in support of those Ukip was seeking to marginalise.
Farage was with his wife and two younger children when the demonstrators arrived at the George & Dragon pub. As he tried to leave, at least one protester jumped on the bonnet of his car.
The demonstrators said Farage pushed through them to get into the car and was then chased down the road.
Farage said afterwards: “I hope these ‘demonstrators’ are proud of themselves. My children were so scared by their behaviour that they ran away to hide.”
The Ukip leader, who is thought to have left in a car driven by his wife, said that a relative had returned to the pub and his children were later found safe. Farage’s children with his wife, Kirsten, are Victoria and Isabelle, thought to be aged 15 and 10 respectively. He also has two grownup children from his previous marriage.
The demonstrations began at around lunchtime at the Queen’s Head pub in Downe, Kent, where Farage was expected to be. The campaigners from the group called Ukip – Beyond Diversity, gathered in fancy dress and included migrants, HIV activists, gay people, disabled people and breastfeeding mothers, they said.
They claimed to be highlighting the pressures that would be placed on such groups, were some of Farage’s policies adopted. The Ukip leader has previously said breastfeeding women should sit in a corner and has spoken out against gay marriage.
When the demonstrators learned Farage was actually in the George & Dragon pub down the road, they formed a conga line and headed in that direction.
They claimed their demonstration was good natured throughout, with speakers from groups “living under the prejudice” promoted by Ukip.
One of the demonstrators claimed Farage was alone at the pub. But the landlord, Nigel Andrews, told the Guardian he was with his family. A Ukip source attacked the protesters for targeting him near his home on a Sunday, saying that Farage never involves his family in his political career.
Protest organiser Dan Glass said: “Ukip are a con. They pretend to be anti-establishment but this couldn’t be further from the truth. By wrongfully shifting the blame for the economic crisis on to immigrants they have let the bankers off the hook.”
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