Nigel Farage has slammed Sky News anchor Kay Burley’s “unfair, personal, and cruel” comparison of Falklands War hero Simon Weston’s facial burns to a burqa, which prompted over 20,000 people to sign a petition demanding she apologise or resign.
The Brexit campaign leader and former UKIP supremo gave his assessment of Burley’s performance while sharing Breitbart London’s article on the exchange of August 7th.
Bridgen, after describing his background in evolutionary biology, said it was natural to feel uncomfortable about full-face veils, as they prevent people from reading each other’s expressions.
Refusing to accept this point, Burley shot back: “So what about, I don’t know, something like Simon Weston, who can’t necessarily show his facial expressions given what happened to him at the Falklands and he was so hideously burned… does that offend you?”
“No, not at all,” replied Bridgen, who appeared shocked by the question.
“But he can’t show his facial expressions the way that you’ve just been illustrating, so just, just, just take that to its logical conclusion for me?” Burley pressed, apparently considering the analogy a slam dunk.
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) August 9, 2018
The public were less impressed by Burley’s line of questioning than she was herself, however, partly because Mr Weston — who recovered from his injuries to become a celebrated charity campaigner — cannot discard his injuries, as an Islamist can with a burqa, and partly because of her insensitive characterisation of the Welsh veteran’s appearance as “hideous”.
Over 20,000 people have signed a petition demanding that Burley apologise for her “offensive and disrespectful” comments so far, but none has been forthcoming.
— UKIP (@UKIP) August 8, 2018
Burley’s conduct also prompted a former letter of complaint from the UK Independence Party, after it called her comparison “crass and idiotic” and the presenter — who is supposed to be bound by broadcaster impartiality rules — responded, “Criticised by UKIP. My work here is done.”
“Given the sentiment expressed here, how can UKIP expect impartial or even reasonable treatment from you in the future?” the party asked on social media in response.
“Given one of your senior representatives recently called me a ‘fucking cunt’ on the radio, I’m not sure yours is the moral high ground to adopt,” the presenter fired back.
UKIP, however, has said it is not aware of any of its representatives, senior or otherwise, making such a comment on radio, and has asked Burley and her employers to supply evidence of the allegation so they can take action against the individual in question — or apologise and retract if the accusation is untrue.
So far, both Burley and Sky News appear to have remained silent.