Nigel Farage 'was dropped by LBC amid staff backlash'

It wasn’t as bad as my plane crash! Nigel Farage says his split with LBC Radio ‘happened rather suddenly’ as he stands by his criticism of ‘Marxist’ Black Lives Matter movement

  • Colleagues had ratcheted up pressure on the station’s owner, Global Media, to drop the Brexiteer 
  • Disquiet reached crescendo on Tuesday after Mr Farage compared anti-racism activists to the Taliban 
  • Station executives appeared to bend to building pressure and announced Mr Farage was stepping down 

Nigel Farage has doubled down his attacks on Black Lives Matter protesters hours after LBC pulled the plug on his radio show amid growing staff anger at his controversial comments.

Colleagues had ratcheted up pressure on the station’s owner, Global Media, to drop the Brexiteer from its presenting cast following his scathing opposition to campaigners.

LBC yesterday announced Mr Farage was stepping down from his evening show ‘with immediate effect’ following talks with bosses. 

But the firebrand politician was back on air this morning on a rival radio station and stuck by criticism of anti-racism activists, which he branded a ‘Marxist anarchist mob’. 

He also insisted he there was no bitterness between him and LBC, telling Talk Radio: ‘We’ve been in negotiations for some time, but as often with things in life it happened rather suddenly. And I’ve got no wish to comment about it, I’ve no wish to display sour grapes.’

In a nod to a near-fatal plane crash Mr Farage survived on the day of the 2010 election, he added: ‘Compared to climbing out of a light aircraft, that’s just crashed to the ground in 2010, it’s pretty small beer.’

Internal disquiet among LBC staff reached a crescendo on Tuesday after Mr Farage compared anti-racism activists to the Taliban during a blazing television debate.

But the politician today voiced his disgrace at how he had been ‘screamed at like I was a liar’ after suggesting the main aim of BLM was to defund the police.

He added: They (BLM) won’t go away until they have changed society. This is not about George Floyd anymore…  This is an all out attack on our country. It’s to make us feel ashamed of who we are.’           

Nigel Farage has doubled down his attacks on Black Lives Matter protesters hours after LBC pulled the plug on his radio show amid growing staff anger at his controversial comments

In a nod to a near-fatal plane crash Mr Farage survived on the day of the 2010 election, he added: ‘People texted me saying it must have been a difficult day. But compared to climbing out of the wreckage of a light aircraft, it wasn’t that bad’

Some of the company’s biggest stars were among employees who demanded bosses back up their public support for the BLM movement with actions. 

The sudden departure was cheered by LBC presenter and vocal Remainer James O’Brien who triumphantly gloated: ‘We got our station back’.

And sources suggested many more station employees were pleased to sever ties with the right-winger, who has courted controversy during his career as a politician and broadcaster. 

‘Everyone across the board was furious. The mood was not great. Both production and presenters made our feelings known to the bosses,’ one insider told the i, following Mr Farage’s criticism of BLM.

Capital Xtra breakfast show hosts Yinka Bokinni and Shayna Marie Birch-Campbell underscored their unhappiness with Global Media’s stance, writing ‘we currently don’t feel like we have the backing of the place we call home,’ according to the Guardian.  

Nigel Farage’s LBC radio show was axed to appease growing staff anger over the company’s half-hearted support for Black Lives Matter protests, insiders revealed last night


The hardline Eurosceptic, who was yesterday pictured with his new Labrador puppy Baxter in Kent, has been a vocal critic of removing controversial statues following the recent Black Lives Matter protests


LBC revealed Mr Farage’s departure in a tweet and wished him well. But Mr Farage’s producer Christian Mitchell suggested he had been blindsided by the sudden departure, tweeting: ‘Hearing this on social media…’


Fellow LBC presenter James O’Brien, a vehement critic of both Brexit and Mr Farage, gleefully tweeted: ‘We got our station back’

Nigel Farage: The Brexit talisman unafraid to speak his mind 

2014: Mr Farage told LBC he ‘felt uncomfortable’ hearing foreign accents on public transport.

May 2014: He told LBC radio he would be concerned if a group of Romanian men moved in next door.

December 2014: Mr Farage blamed ‘open-door immigration’ for traffic which made him late for a speaking event in Wales.

2015 election: He railed against people coming to the UK for HIV treatment.

2016 referendum: Mr Farage unveiled the now notorious Breaking Point poster which claimed to show immigrants pouring into the UK.

August 2019: He claimed that Meghan Markle had lowered Prince Harry’s popularity. Mr Farage said: ‘And then he met Meghan Markle, and it’s (his popularity) fallen off a cliff.’

2019 election: A passer-by drenched Mr Farage in a milkshake during a campaign event in Newcastle.

June 2020: Compared BLM protesters to the Taliban.

Global media, whose stable of stations includes LBC, Capital, Heart and Radio X, has been a vocal supporter of the BLM movement.

On Monday, it held a one-minute silence in memory of George Floyd.

Before the pause, Global told Twitter followers: ‘We need to improve, and pledge to make a sustained effort to evolve for the better.

‘In the meantime, we will take a moment this evening to remember with respect and dignity both George Floyd and all those who have suffered and are suffering.

‘We will also reflect on our commitments for the future.’  

According to CampaignLive, 13 per cent of Global’s staff are from minority backgrounds. 

Yesterday Mr Farage denied claims he quit following a furious row with bosses after being informed his contract was not being renewed. LBC insists his contract was coming to an end shortly. 

LBC has downplayed the departure and insisted Mr Farage’s current contract was ending, but his own producer Christian Mitchell suggested he had been blindsided, tweeting: ‘Hearing this on social media…’    

The station said: ‘Nigel Farage’s contract with LBC is up very shortly and, following discussions with him, Nigel is stepping down from LBC with immediate effect. 

‘We thank Nigel for the enormous contribution he has made to LBC and wish him well.’ 

Taking to the airwaves an hour earlier yesterday to fill the schedule gap left by Mr Farage, Iain Dale said: ‘I know Nigel would wish me to pass on his thanks to all of his listeners’.

Mr Farage, 56, has hosted his own 6-7pm show from Mondays to Thursdays as well as a mid-morning show on Sundays since 2017.

LBC bosses would not have pulled the plug lightly, as the show is believed to be hugely popular and a money-spinner for Global Media. 

During his spell as a presenter, he has bagged interviews with some premier league guests, including President Donald Trump.

The hardline Eurosceptic, who was yesterday pictured with his new puppy Baxter in Kent, has been a vocal critic of removing controversial statues following the recent Black Lives Matter protests. 

On Tuesday during a fiery debate on Good Morning Britain, he scolded those who toppled slave trader Edward Colston’s statue in Bristol.

Justifying his outrage, he said: ‘Because they did it as a violent mob making their own decisions and what they thought was right and wrong.

‘The point here is you start to unpick history you do not quite know where you are going to finish up.’

He added: ‘The Taliban love to blow up and destroy historical monuments from a different time that they do not approve of.

‘What we saw at the weekend was the most appalling example of mob rule.’ 

In the debate, Mr Farage went head-to-head with historian Professor Kate Williams and Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu, who yesterday both cheered his departure from LBC. 

Prof Williams tweeted: ‘On Tuesday, Nigel Farage made the disgraceful comparison of Black Lives Matter to the Taliban on GMB. 

‘Horrific spreading of race hatred and inciting hate. Now, he is ‘stepping down’ from LBC – immediate effect. 

‘This is long overdue. Race hatred must be off all the airwaves -now!’

Dr Mos-Shogbamimu wrote sarcastically: ‘Nigel Farage is out of LBC? Couldn’t have happened to a nicer person. We thank him for nothing.’ 

Commenting on the news, acting leader of the Liberal Democrats, Ed Davey MP bluntly said: ‘Good.’

Mr Farage last year told the European Parliament that he earned £27,000 a month through his media company – dwarfing the salary he made as an MEP.

GLOBAL’S SILENCE AT ODDS WITH FARAGE

On Monday Global’s Radio stations, which include LBC, Radio X, Capital and Heart, held one minute’s silence in memory of George Floyd.

Before the pause, Global told Twitter followers: ‘We need to improve, and pledge to make a sustained effort to evolve for the better.

‘In the meantime, we will take a moment this evening to remember with respect and dignity both George Floyd and all those who have suffered and are suffering.

‘We will also reflect on our commitments for the future.’ 

Three days later, Nigel Farage quit the station having compared Black Lives Matter activists to the Taliban. 

According to CampaignLive, 13% of Global’s staff are from minority backgrounds. 

He uses Thorn In The Side Ltd to collect his earnings, which come from his LBC show as well as regular appearances as a talking head on US TV channel Fox News.

Accounts for the year to May 2018 show that its assets exceeded £548,000, significantly up on £157,000 the year before.

He also added that he received ‘nothing’ for his role as leader of the Brexit Party, which he created in 2018 to pressure the Government into formally withdrawing from the European Union. 

For decades, Mr Farage was a fringe figure in British politics and banged the drum for Euroscepticsm through the vehicle of Ukip.

But his firebrand rhetoric and punchy debating tactics gained him a bigger following, which led Ukip to victory in the 2014 European elections.

Although shunned by the official Vote Leave campaign in the 2016 referendum, Mr Farage toured the country as part of the unofficial Grassroots Out movement.

He quit as Ukip leader following the Brexit vote and flew to America to support Donald Trump’s bid for the White House.

He founded the Brexit Party in 2019, where he delivered a thumping win in the European elections, before flopping at the December general election. 

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