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Man throws object at British right-wing leader Nigel Farage

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LONDON (Reuters) – Nigel Farage, the leader of Britain’s right-wing Reform Party, was assaulted on Tuesday for the second time since he began campaigning for next month’s election when a man hurled objects at him during an open-top bus tour.

Farage was travelling through Barnsley in northern England, waving to crowds from the bus, when a man threw what appeared to be large pieces of broken stone at him, footage on social media showed. The objects missed him and he appeared unharmed.

Police said they had arrested a 28-year-old man on suspicion of public order offences, adding that they believed he had thrown objects from a construction site.

“I’m not a softie – you can say what you bloomin’ like to me – but if you start chucking cement at me or chucking stones at me it’s very, very different,” Farage told Sky News.

He described the attack as “a wilful attempt to stop me taking part in this general election”.

As the figurehead of euroscepticism and anti-immigration sentiment, Farage has been a divisive figure in Britain for decades. He is best known for the leading role he played in encouraging Britons to vote in 2016 to leave the European Union. He is standing for a parliamentary seat on July 4.

“I will not be bullied or cowed by a violent left-wing mob who hate our country,” he said on X.

Last week, a 25-year-old woman was charged with assault for throwing a drink in his face from close range as he left a pub.

Farage stepped up as Reform’s new leader last week, heaping pressure on the ruling Conservative Party, which is far behind the main opposition Labour Party in surveys and has been losing support to Reform.

He has long been a thorn in the side of the Conservatives, arguing they need to do more to cut immigration.

He has in the past made comments that his opponents have accused of being racist. During the Brexit campaign, Farage appeared in front of a poster showing lines of migrants under the slogan “Breaking Point”, while last month he said Muslims did not share British values.

He also regularly angered many politicians in the European Parliament during his two decades as a lawmaker there.

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SWI swissinfo.ch - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR