That MEP who facepalmed during Nigel Farage's European Parliament speech has explained his reaction


As Nigel Farage stood up to speak in the European Parliament yesterday, one MEP sat behind him could be seen grimacing and putting his head in his hand as he listened along.

His reaction sparked the hashtag #WeAreSeat123 as the British public found themselves easily relating to the feelings he seemed to be showing.

Now that man - Vytenis Andriukaitis, the Lithuanian EU commissioner for health and food safety - has written a blog post to share exactly what was going through his head at the time.

European Union Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis speaks in Brussels (Virginia Mayo/AP)

He wrote: "I have enjoyed reading the many comments and can confirm that I do indeed appreciate British humour. But as tweets were exchanged, I felt it was important to share some more serious thoughts on how I felt yesterday in the Parliament."

He said that he "was and still am fully with all the British people" but that "sadly many votes will have been influenced by the lies spread by some representatives of the Leave campaign".

He described the claims Farage had made throughout the campaign as "toxic untruths... such as claims that money Britain contributes to the EU budget would be used for investments in healthcare, have now been revealed as lies".

the vote leave bus parked up (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

He also revealed two personal and different symbols that stand out to him from this referendum - "One is the assassination of Labour MP Jo Cox and the other is of Jonathan Hill."

He went on: "Jo Cox was killed because of people instigating hate, chauvinism and phobias. These are brutal forces infecting our democracies, destroying sentiment of security and values that we hold so dearly in Europe.

"Lord Hill was decisive and stepped down. This is an example of moral self-determination, taking responsibility and embracing the consequences. This is in stark contrast to the actions of some others who personify political hypocrisy."

members clap lord hill who has resigned from his post

He concluded that while Britain is changing, the EU is changing as well and explained that "for me its future lies in social justice and security. This is the way forward".

And his frank and honest thoughts seem to have increased his ever-expanding fanbase.