Brexit leader Nigel Farage has criticised the mainstream media for shifting the responsibility for the killing of Sir David Amess MP onto robust political discourse, claiming that Islamist ideology is to blame.
In a YouTube video posted on Sunday addressing the killing of the much-loved Conservative MP for Southend West, Mr Farage claimed that it is “undeniably true is that this is a fundamentalist, Islamist, terrorist attack”, adding that radicalism must be “confronted”, “otherwise, “Western democracy and Western civilisation will cease to function as we know it.”
Following the killing of the 69-year-old on Friday, London Metropolitan Police have arrested a 25-year-old man and are treating the stabbing as a “terrorist incident”. Various media reports have named the suspect as Ali Harbi Ali, allegedly the son of Harbi Ali Kullane, believed to have been the former adviser to the prime minister of Somalia.
“I do feel that much of the media are drawing the wrong conclusions and there are things we can learn from this that would perhaps benefit our future,” Mr Farage said on Sunday.
Continuing: “The first is that it’s wall to wall on broadcast and in print that this is all because of an unpleasant narrative in politics, and we must all be nicer to each other. I’ve never heard such rubbish in all my life.
“Suggestions that Prime Minister’s Question time is too confrontational, that politicians say things about each other that are unkind and aren’t nice; go back to the eighteenth-century where they really tore chunks out of each other.
“Politics by its nature has always been confrontational, a battle of ideas, a battle of personalities. This murder has got almost nothing to do with political discourse and narrative.”
Farage claimed that “right at the heart of this, what the media will not call out, and what is undeniably true is that this is a fundamentalist, Islamist, terrorist attack.
“It’s got nothing to do with Labour and Tories being nasty to each other. This is about the most serious problem we in the Western world face: the fact that we’ve now got people living in our country that hate everything we stand for and will do their damnedest to destroy it.”
“This is Islamic radicalism. This must be confronted. Otherwise, Western democracy and Western civilisation will cease to function as we know it, as we understand it… We can’t dither with this. The government needs to act and to act right now,” Farage said.
The Brexit leader also weighed into the debate going on in the media over protection for Members of Parliament, particularly when they hold open sessions for voters to bring their concerns to their local MPs — know in Britain as “surgeries” — which typically happen on Fridays in the constituency, and without the protection afforded to lawmakers when in the well-guarded fortress that is the Palace of Westminster.
Home Secretary Priti Patel has said the government is considering police protection for MP surgeries, and reflecting on the own security he needed to keep him safe during and after the Brexit debate, Mr Farage said: “I don’t think Members of Parliament can go about their business in future without having a trained security guard by their side,” reiterating his earlier calls to employ veterans to provide security for MPs.
Over concerns that introducing guards could put a barrier between public servants and citizens, Farage said that lawmakers can be both safe and accessible, saying: “The fact that I was surrounded by security did not stop me holding public meetings, going down high streets, visiting street markets, going into shops, pubs, but I was able, with security, still able to go out and meet the people.”