UKIP leader Nigel Farage told a public meeting last night that people who describe his party as racist are “cretinous”. Speaking to an audience of about 900 in Derby, he also accused the European Union of wanting to “homogenise” Europe, and hit back at critics of his party.
The Derby Telegraph reports that Farage was greeted by about 50 far-left protesters outside the Riverside Centre in Derby. They chanted “Racist Nigel”, but police reported no trouble as the UKIP leader entered the conference centre.
Mr Farage made his visit hours after he was hit by an egg thrown by a protester in Nottingham. The Nottingham Post reports that 33-year-old Frederick Glenister has been charged in connection with the incident, and is due to appear before Nottingham magistrates on 22 May.
In an earlier interview with the Derby Telegraph, Mr Farage said that the city’s Toyota factory, a major employer in the area, would benefit if Britain left the EU. “Because of a whole series of agreements signed up to in Brussels, energy companies are paying between 15 and 20 percent more for their energy.
“Only outside the EU can we bring down energy prices and give our manufacturing industries a chance to compete.
“Leaving the EU would mean they would get cheaper energy. It would make them more competitive and maybe able to sell even more cars.”
He also criticised the city council’s decision to spend £118,000 helping Eastern European immigrants learn English.
“Speaking the language should be a prerequisite [for coming to live in Britain] and shouldn’t be paid for by the British taxpayer.”
He added, however: “It shouldn’t have to happen but it has because we have an open door to Eastern and Southern Europe.”