Nigel Farage pulls out of BBC interview at last minute amid Hitler row

Nigel Farage pulls out of BBC interview at last minute amid Hitler row
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Nigel Farage has pulled out of a high-profile BBC interview as his Reform UK party faces a row over whether the UK should have appeased Hitler.

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The former UKIP leader was due to take part in a Panorama special with Nick Robinson, set to have been broadcast on Tuesday night.

But it has been pulled from the schedule and postponed, despite Mr Farage continuing to campaign in Barnsley and Nottinghamshire.

It comes less than 24 hours after it emerged one of his candidates claimed the country would have been “far better” off if it had “taken Hitler up on his offer of neutrality” instead of fighting the Nazis.

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Ian Gribbin, who is standing in Bexhill and Battle, also described Winston Churchill as “abysmal” and praised Russian president Vladimir Putin, according to the BBC.

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Reform UK leader Nigel Farage, in Cawthorne, South Yorkshire, on the campaign trail.
Reform UK leader Nigel Farage, in Cawthorne, South Yorkshire, on the campaign trail. (Danny Lawson/PA Wire)

He also claimed online that women were the “sponging gender” and should be “deprived of health care”.

A Reform spokesman said the comments were not “endorsements” but “written with an eye to inconvenient perspectives and truths”.

And the remarks about women were described as “tongue in cheek”.

Mr Farage tried to brush aside the row on Monday, saying that “every party will suffer” controversy triggered by its candidates in a snap election.

But the row is awkward for Reform as it seeks to capitalise on outrage over Rishi Sunak’s D-Day gaffe last week, when the prime minister left international commemorations early.

Mr Gribbin is reported to have posted on the Unherd website in 2022 that: “Britain would be in a far better state today had we taken Hitler up on his offer of neutrality … but oh no Britain’s warped mindset values weird notions of international morality rather than looking after its own people.”

The same month he wrote that the UK should “exorcise the cult of Churchill and recognize that in both policy and military strategy, he was abysmal”.

The previous month he criticised women, writing: “Do you think you could actually work and pay for it all too like good citizens?

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“Men pay 80% of tax – women spend 80% of tax revenue. On aggregate as a group you only take from society.

“Less complaining please from the ‘sponging gender’.”

Reform UK candidate said the UK would have been better off if it had taken Hitler “up on his offer of neutrality”
Reform UK candidate said the UK would have been better off if it had taken Hitler “up on his offer of neutrality” (Getty Images)

In a separate post, he also suggested removing that inequality “by depriving women of healthcare until their life expectancies are the same as men, Fair’s fair.”

In 2021, he wrote female soldiers “almost made me wretch [sic]” and were a “total liability”.

In the run-up to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, he said that President Putin had “shown a maturity of which we can only dream of”.

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A Reform UK spokesman said: “Through offence archaeology, the BBC has found that Mr Gribbin has made a series of comments about a number of subjects.

“They were written with an eye to inconvenient perspectives and truths. That doesn’t make them endorsements, just arguing points in long-distance debates.

“His historical perspective of what the UK could have done in the Thirties was shared by the vast majority of the British establishment including the BBC of its day, and is probably true.

“Again, no endorsement, just pointing out conveniently forgotten truths.

“As for the feminism point, his tongue is so firmly in his cheek one should be able to spot it from 100 yards.”

Row has erupted just days after commemorative events for the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings
Row has erupted just days after commemorative events for the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings (Jane Barlow/PA Wire)

Mr Farage defended his party, saying the Greens had a “bigger problem”. “They’ve had to suspend 20 of their candidates for putting out pretty vile antisemitic tweets.

“Here’s something, I think every party will suffer because it was a snap election. We’ve put in place a good vetting programme but we’ve run out of time.”



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