He fell and hit his head and died from his injuries two days later.
Farage Threatens To Stop Paying BBC Licence Fee Over Biased Reporting
In a hard hitting interview with the Daily Telegraph, former UKIP Leader Nigel Farage (pictured above) has threatened to stop paying his BBC TV Licence fee unless the corporation personally apologises to him for comments saying that he had ‘blood on his hands’ following the death of a Polish man after the EU referendum vote.
Mr. Farage says that the “terrible slur” has caused him and his family “more misery than any other in my 25 years in politics”.
He says that he lived “in fear of reprisal” and a “perpetual state of worry” as a result of the claim and will have “no option but to stop paying the BBC licence fee altogether” unless the corporation apologises. He says:
‘This single report, because it opened the floodgates to other media, has caused my family and me more misery than any other in my 25 years in politics.
‘At the time, I couldn’t even go out to buy a newspaper without abuse being hurled at me. All of us lived in fear of a reprisal. Bile overflowed on social media.’
Arkadiusz Jozwik, a 40-year-old Polish man, was punched in the head during a row with a youth in a shopping centre in Harlow, Essex in August 2016.
A report on BBC Two’s Newsnight programme broadcast shortly afterwards included an interview by reporter John Sweeney with a friend of Mr Jozwik called Eric Hind who said that Mr Farage had “blood on your hands” because of his role in the referendum campaign.
Mr Farage said the report “opened the floodgates” with other media outlets then running the story causing his family “more misery than any other in my 25 years in politics”.
Mr Farage said: “At the time, I couldn’t even go out to buy a newspaper without abuse being hurled at me. All of us lived in fear of a reprisal. Bile overflowed on social media.”
The boy who punched Mr Jozwik was sentenced to three and a half years in a young offender institution for manslaughter earlier this month.
He is now 16 and cannot be named for legal reasons.
The court heard during the trial that the incident was in fact not a hate crime and had nothing to do with the referendum.
The defence told the court that the deceased and a companion had made “racist remarks” and had “invited violence” when they approached a group of young people which included the boy.
Mr Farage said he had written to Lord Hall, the director general of the BBC, to demand an apology.
He said: “If the apology is not forthcoming, I will have no option but to stop paying the BBC licence fee altogether.
“Others must decide whether they would do the same in my shoes, but all, I trust, will agree that this is a test of whether the BBC really is the decent and fair public broadcaster it purports to be.”
He added: “I don’t think Sweeney – or the BBC – has any idea what it’s like to live in a state of perpetual worry as a result of such an accusation.”
A BBC spokesman said:
‘The BBC’s reporting reflected, like other media, that racial motivation was a line of inquiry the police were looking at and our coverage also featured vox-pops giving differing views including anti-social behaviour as a possibility.
‘The BBC has already examined its reporting of Arkadiusz Jóźwik’s death concluding it was fairly reported, based on what was known and said at the time.
‘We agree with Mr Farage that social media abuse towards anyone, including politicians or journalists, is unacceptable. We continue to report on Brexit impartially and fairly.’
Westmonster Dave is the News Editor of Kipper Central.