‘Boris Johnson: Leader or Cheerleader?’ Nigel Farage Calls on PM to ‘Show Some Leadership’ in Prime Time Debut

Brexit leader Nigel Farage used his prime time debut on GB News on Monday evening to call on Boris Johnson to “show some leadership” and to “man up” in returning freedom to Britain rather than bending to the whims of “mad scientists” and public opinion.

Nigel Farage returned to Britain’s airwaves on Monday evening a little over a year after being unceremoniously removed from his LBC radio show for comparing the statue smashing Black Lives Matter movement to the Taliban, debuting his nightly prime time show on the self-described anti-woke GB News network.

The Brexiteer struck a characteristically populist tone throughout the programme, railing against the damage the government’s lockdowns have had on the private sector, failures to tackle illegal immigration in the English Channel, and the bloated bureaucracy of the European Union.

It was Boris Johnson’s so-called “Freedom Day” announcement which drew the most ire from Mr Farage, however, after the Prime Minister u-turned again on the issue of domestic vaccine passports, saying that they will be mandatory for nightclubs and other public venues by September.

The Brexiteer said that the country is in an “almost farcical situation” in which “the prime minister delivering a press conference on freedom day, the day he was supposed to be a Churchill like figure and yet he’s done it from isolation.”

“They haven’t got a grip, they’re not in charge, they follow public opinion rather than leading,” he said.

“I want Boris Johnson to start showing a bit of leadership, to stop being blown around by events… this sort of endless dither and chaos. Boris man up!” Farage declared.

In an interview with Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the powerful 1922 Committee of backbench Tory MPs and one of the leading voices against the government’s draconian lockdown measures, Mr Farage questioned: “Is Boris Johnson a leader or a cheerleader?”

While Sir Graham noted that lockdown restrictions most likely would have been worse under a Labour Party-run government, the Tory MP maligned the government for instilling the public with undue fear of the virus.

“I think a lot of people have been frightened [by the government] and I think they’ve been made more frightened than needed to be… and we know from the minutes of the so-called SPI-B committee, the behavioural scientists who advised the government, there was a deliberate effort to raise levels of anxiety so that people would be more compliant.

“I also think some of these opinion polls are wide of the mark. One that made me laugh I think around about the turn of the year had 70 odd per cent support for continuing lockdown but I think about 60 per cent of people said they personally weren’t following the rules.

“An awful lot of people, I think, think that they personally are well able to make rational decisions for themselves and their families they just think all of the others are too stupid to do so.”

Mr Farage accused the Prime Minister of failing to show leadership through his consistent u-turns on policy depending on public reaction, including his decision to self-isolate after Health Secretary Sajid Javid tested positive for the Chinese virus. Johnson’s decision came despite the fact that he has had two doses of the vaccine and famously recovered from the virus last year.

He said that the Prime Minister and Chancellor Rishi Sunak should have returned to work and used the workplace pilot scheme of lateral flow testing to avoid self-isolation.

But rather than keeping the so-called pilot for, as it has become to be perceived by the public, a perk for high-ranking politicians, the government should instead extend it to the whole nation, the Brexiteer said. Farage remarked that they could have used the opportunity to extend the scheme to “every single private company in this country” in order to get factories back up and running and to keep pubs and restaurants from shuttering their doors.

He noted that it has been “the private sector that has paid the cost of this from the very beginning.”

“If you work in the public sector you will not lose your job, if you work in the public sector you will not lose your pension, but if you work in the private sector you may well lose both, and right now,” he warned.

Mr Farage said that he hopes his show, and GB News as a whole, will bring some “diversity” to British media, which he said has been dominated by the same “centre-left, liberal, woke, pro-cancel culture view”.

“There is a very large population of people who have an entirely different view and yet they are looked down upon, despised by so many in politics and media in this country. Well, GB News is here very much for those people we’re going to be a voice for those people and we’re going to be unashamedly a patriotic television station,” he declared.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka

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