UK: Rishi Sunak hurt and angry by racist insult

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British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he was deeply “hurt” on Friday after being the target of a racist insult from a member of Reform UK, Nigel Farage’s anti-immigration party, who called it a “trap” in the middle of the election campaign.

A week before the July 4 elections, Channel 4 broadcast a report on Thursday evening, produced thanks to an undercover operation, in which an activist from the party founded by the Brexit champion makes racist remarks, notably against the head of the Conservative government, who is of Indian origin.

“My two daughters find themselves seeing and hearing people from Reform UK, who are campaigning for Nigel Farage, calling me a ‘f***ing Paki’. It hurts me. And it makes me angry,” Rishi Sunak said on Friday, his voice briefly breaking with emotion.

Nigel Farage, a figure of the British far right who rejects this designation, will have to “answer questions on this subject”, added the Prime Minister.

He explained that he was repeating these insults deliberately “because it is too important not to say clearly what it is about”.

The activist Andrew Parker, who uttered the insult, and another member of the Reform UK campaign, were dismissed by Nigel Farage after the broadcast of these images, captured within the party team in the constituency of Clacton-on-Sea (south-east of England).

It is in this seaside resort that this figure of the Brexit campaign hopes to be elected, after having failed seven times to win a seat in the House of Commons.

According to the polls, Reform UK would come in third or fourth position behind Labour and the Conservatives in terms of voting intentions.

But according to a study published Friday by the Daily Mirror, and carried out Wednesday and Thursday, therefore before the broadcast of the report, Reform UK would come second with 21%, ahead of the Conservatives (18%), but far behind Labour (38%).

Homophobic remarks

Andrew Parker has also suggested that new army recruits practice shooting by aiming at migrants who illegally cross the Channel on board small boats.

Another member of the Reform UK campaign was filmed making racist and then homophobic remarks, calling the LGBT flag “degenerate”.

On the ITV channel, Nigel Farage maintained Friday that “no one” had done more than him to “drive the extreme right” out of British politics.

“And if you want to hurt me, you set me up with someone who claims to be on my side and who says despicable things,” he continued, posing as the victim of an operation to discredit him because his party would be the only one to want real change.

“This is all a complete and total trap,” Nigel Farage maintained, suggesting that Andrew Parker, an actor, was acting. “I don’t know if he was paid or not,” “I say it’s possible, I don’t know, there’s something wrong with that,” Nigel Farage declared.

“Provoked”

But Andrew Parker distinguished with the British press agency PA his activism within Reform UK and the profession of actor that he exercises part-time.

He did however affirm that he had been “pushed” by his interlocutor to make the remarks that were recorded.

Channel 4 has denied that Mr Parker was being paid and has defended its “rigorous and impartial journalism”.

“We met Mr Parker at the Reform UK headquarters, where he was an activist,” the channel said, adding that it had filmed him without his knowledge and had not paid anyone in the report.

Labour leader Keir Starmer, who is tipped to become the next prime minister, said he was “shocked” by the footage and questioned Nigel Farage’s ability to lead his party.

According to anti-racism group Hope Not Hate, Reform UK has had to drop 166 candidates since the start of the year ahead of the general election, many of whom had made racist or offensive remarks.

This article is originally published on laliberte.ch

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