Anti-racists chase Nigel Farage in Barnsley (Picture: Alamy)

Some 70 protestors demonstrated against Nigel Farage in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, on Tuesday.

The leader of the racist Reform UK party greeted crowds from the top of a bus as part of his campaign trail.

“I was worried at the start,” protester George told Socialist Worker, referring to small numbers at the start of the protest.

But the demonstration grew rapidly as many young people joined and confronted Farage. George said, “We chanted loud enough to drown out Farage. Then he got in a car and just drove off. It was a very positive demonstration.”

One protestor led the demonstration with a placard that read, “Tories destroyed Barnsley’s economy, housing, NHS—not migrants.”

A surprisingly small number of Farage supporters turned out in what Reform UK has announced as its number one target seat in the election. Chants of “Reform UK is a racist party, don’t let racists divide us,” “Refugees in, Farage out,” and, “Say it loud, say it clear, Refugees welcome here,” rang out for over half an hour.

The police advised Farage not to get off his bus, which eventually managed to squeeze past the demonstrators.

George added, “Just before it left someone not connected to the demo found a barrel of wet cement and threw two handfuls at the bus. Some in the crowd said, ‘This is Barnsley, we don’t do milkshakes.’”

This is the second time in under a week Farage has been assailed by a protestor after having a milkshake thrown on him last week in Clacton, Essex.

One student joined the protest from Sheffield University, temporarily leaving the Palestine student encampment to demonstrate against Farage. She carried a banner that read, “Fuck fascists, fuck Farage.”

Anti-racists confront and stop Nigel Farage election campaigning in Barnsley today

— Socialist Worker (@socialistworker) June 11, 2024

Police detained her for abusive language after Farage was forced away by protestors. But the crowd opposed the police and they released her.

The Stand Up To Racism campaign group said, “Good to see the good people of Barnsley opposing Farage’s vile politics and inflammatory statements targeting migrants that embolden racists and the far right.”

The protest in Barnsley comes just a day after reports arose that Reform UK candidate Ian Gribben had previously defended Hitler. Gribben wrote that Britain should have “taken Hitler up on his offer of neutrality…but oh no Britain’s warped mind set values weird notions of international morality”.

A Reform UK spokesperson said that the party does not endorse the comment, but Gribben was “just pointing out conveniently forgotten truths”.

Reform UK is a vile, racist party which scapegoats migrants. They are led by Farage—a stock broker who went to public school—and do not represent the interests of ordinary people.

We need many more protests that hound Farage and say, “Refugees are welcome here,” throughout the election.


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