Nigel Farage has declined the offer of a duel with an eccentric Polish prince after admitting he does not have a sword. The UKIP leader was challenged by Janek Zylinski who nominated Hyde Park as the venue.
Prince Janek posted a video on YouTube claiming that he needed to “stand up in defence of my people in this country, in the UK.” He went on to suggest the most “idiotic example” of discrimination against Polish people was when Farage blamed immigrants for traffic on the M4.
The comment was a reference to the incident last year when Farage turned up late to an event after being stuck in traffic. He was accused of unprofessionalism by the media and responded by saying the jams were a result of extra traffic because “the population is going through the roof chiefly because of open-door immigration”.
Speaking in Clacton yesterday Farage told the Daily Mirror: “I would have thought that a Polish prince with a long Polish lineage would rather agree with me that it’s a complete tragedy for Poland that it’s lost so many of its brightest and best young people.”
Prince Janek had proposed to use his father’s sword, which Zylinski snr. used during a successful cavalry charge against the Germans in 1939. Farage praised the blade, saying: “It is an impressive sword. I don’t have one but I’m sure we could find one if we had to. But I’m not intending to accept the offer.”
Despite Farage’s admission that he does not have a sword, tradition dictates he would be entitled to carry one in London. This is because he was awarded the Freedom of the City in 2013. Historically that entitles the holder to carry a sword, along with a series of other bizarre rights including driving livestock over London Bridge.
The offer of a duel might not have been entirely serious because Prince Janek is known for his attempts to garner recognition for his father’s war record. He even turned his ordinary home in Ealing into an extraordinary small palace in honour of the family’s lineage.
Farage has been hit with a number of publicity hunters during the election, most notably Al Murray who is running against him in South Thanet. Murray has established the Freedom for UK Party (FUKD) leading Farage to suggest he was only involved in politics to remote his forthcoming ‘Pub Landlord’ tour.