Nigel Farage called out for 'blanket accusation' as he says 'growing number' of Muslims 'loathe' British values

26 May 2024, 09:29 | Updated: 26 May 2024, 12:57

Nigel Farage has argued on Sky News that a "growing number" of young Muslims in the UK do not subscribe to British values.

The Reform UK honorary president told Sky News's Sunday Morning With Trevor Phillips: "We have a growing number of young people in this country who do not subscribe to British values.

"In fact, loathe much of what we stand for. I think we see them on the streets of London every Saturday."

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Reaction to Farage comments as campaigning continues

Asked if "we are talking about Muslims here", Mr Farage said: "We are. And I'm afraid I found some of the recent surveys saying that 46% of British Muslims support Hamas - support a terrorist organisation that is proscribed in this country."

The former UKIP and Brexit Party leader was quoting a poll commissioned by the Henry Jackson Society in April that found one in four British Muslims believe Hamas committed murder and rape in Israel on 7 October last year.

Hamas killed around 1,200 people and took more than 250 hostages in the raid on southern Israel. Since then, Israel's response in Gaza has killed more than 35,000 people, according to the Hamas-run health ministry - and the war has become a divisive issue in British politics.

'Can you imagine how offensive that is?'

Mr Farage also claimed: "Nobody in history has allowed more people in who are potentially really going to fight against British values than Mr Sunak."

The Reform president said there was a contrast between Muslims and those who came from the West Indies, who he said had a shared heritage with the UK.

But Sir Trevor, whose parents were part of the Windrush generation, challenged him and said British culture was forced on them by their British slave owners.

"You're trying to say to me, 'you guys are not really like these other guys'," Sir Trevor said.

"Can you imagine how offensive that is to British Muslims?"

Mr Farage replied by asking how many people "in your community failed to speak English?" - to which Sir Trevor said: "We all speak English," - before adding that many British Muslims did, too.

The Reform UK director said he was "not here to attack the religion of Islam" and insisted he had not been doing so.

"I'm blaming elements of that community. I'm not blaming them. I'm stating a fact," Mr Farage said.

"All I'm doing is stating in fact, no one else dares tell the truth about this.

"On the broader question, the biggest single problem this country faces is the population explosion. And it will not be debated in this election.

"Why? Because Labour started it and the Tories accelerated it. That has led to a problem on a scale unimaginable"

Farage defends consequences of Brexit

Mr Farage also denied being responsible for immigration increases following Brexit - a lifelong campaign of his.

"Biggest load of cobblers I've ever heard in my life," he said.

"What we did by leaving the European Union was to change a policy which meant we discriminated against the rest of the world, often against talent, in favour of an open door with the EU.

"What Brexit did was give us back control of our own."

He accused Boris Johnson of "setting the bars and the levels at the lowest possible level" and allowing students to bring their dependents in when "we haven't got room".

"If you want mass immigration, vote Conservative, if you want mass immigration, vote Labour," he added.

Mr Farage earlier this week announced he would not be standing in the general election.

He told Sunday Morning with Trevor Phillips he chose not to because he would have "to start from scratch" and six weeks was not long enough for him to campaign.