A history of ‘milkshaking’ as a political protest

The "milkshaking" of Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage is the latest in a string of incidents involving the cold drink during the European election campaign.

The trend of throwing milkshakes at right-wing politicians appears to have begun when viral footage showed Tommy Robinson having one thrown over him in Warrington.

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NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, ENGLAND - MAY 20: Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage is escorted to a car after having what is thought to be milkshake thrown over him as he visits Northumberland Street in Newcastle Upon Tyne during a whistle stop UK tour on May 20, 2019 in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England. The visit to Newcastle comes ahead of the 2019 European elections in the United Kingdom which will take place on May 23. The Brexit Party is a pro-Brexit Eurosceptic political party formed in 2019. Nigel Farage, the former leader of the U.K. Independence Party, is campaigning for the Brexit Party's contest for this month's European Parliament elections. The Brexit Party is reported to be polling in front of Labour and the Conservatives for the European parliament elections. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, ENGLAND - MAY 20: Paul Crowther (grey t-shirt) is pulled away by security and held by police after throwing what was thought to be milkshake over Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage visits Northumberland Street in Newcastle Upon Tyne during a whistle stop UK tour on May 20, 2019 in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England. The visit to Newcastle comes ahead of the 2019 European elections in the United Kingdom which will take place on May 23. The Brexit Party is a pro-Brexit Eurosceptic political party formed in 2019. Nigel Farage, the former leader of the U.K. Independence Party, is campaigning for the Brexit Party's contest for this month's European Parliament elections. The Brexit Party is reported to be polling in front of Labour and the Conservatives for the European parliament elections. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
Nigel Farage after he was doused in milkshake during a campaign walkabout in Newcastle.
Nigel Farage after he was doused in milkshake during a campaign walkabout in Newcastle.
Nigel Farage after he was doused in milkshake during a campaign walkabout in Newcastle.
Paul Crowther, 32, from Throckley, Newcastle, speaks to police after Nigel Farage was hit with a milkshake in Newcastle city centre during a Brexit Party walkabout.
The empty milkshake cup from Five Guys which is believed to have been emptied on Nigel Farage in Newcastle city centre during a Brexit Party walkabout.
Paul Crowther, 32, from Throckley, Newcastle, speaks to police after Nigel Farage was hit with a milkshake in Newcastle city centre during a Brexit Party walkabout.
NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, ENGLAND - MAY 20: Paul Crowther (R) is pulled away by security and held by police after throwing what was thought to be milkshake over Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage in Northumberland Street in Newcastle Upon Tyne during a whistle stop UK tour on May 20, 2019 in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England. Nigel Farage's visit to Newcastle comes ahead of the 2019 European elections in the United Kingdom which will take place on May 23. The Brexit Party, a pro-Brexit Eurosceptic political party formed in 2019, is reported to be polling in front of Labour and the Conservatives for the European parliament elections. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, ENGLAND - MAY 20: Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage (R) has what is thought to have been a milkshake thrown over him as he visits Northumberland Street in Newcastle Upon Tyne during a whistle stop UK tour on May 20, 2019 in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England. His visit to Newcastle comes ahead of the 2019 European elections in the United Kingdom which will take place on May 23. The Brexit Party, a pro-Brexit Eurosceptic political party formed in 2019, is reported to be polling in front of Labour and the Conservatives for the European parliament elections. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, ENGLAND - MAY 20: Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage is escorted to a car after having what is thought to be milkshake thrown over him as he visits Northumberland Street in Newcastle Upon Tyne during a whistle stop UK tour on May 20, 2019 in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England. The visit to Newcastle comes ahead of the 2019 European elections in the United Kingdom which will take place on May 23. The Brexit Party is a pro-Brexit Eurosceptic political party formed in 2019. Nigel Farage, the former leader of the U.K. Independence Party, is campaigning for the Brexit Party's contest for this month's European Parliament elections. The Brexit Party is reported to be polling in front of Labour and the Conservatives for the European parliament elections. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, ENGLAND - MAY 20: Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage is escorted to a car after having what is thought to be milkshake thrown over him as he visits Northumberland Street in Newcastle Upon Tyne during a whistle stop UK tour on May 20, 2019 in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England. The visit to Newcastle comes ahead of the 2019 European elections in the United Kingdom which will take place on May 23. The Brexit Party is a pro-Brexit Eurosceptic political party formed in 2019. Nigel Farage, the former leader of the U.K. Independence Party, is campaigning for the Brexit Party's contest for this month's European Parliament elections. The Brexit Party is reported to be polling in front of Labour and the Conservatives for the European parliament elections. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, ENGLAND - MAY 20: Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage has what is thought to have been a milkshake thrown over him as he visits Northumberland Street in Newcastle Upon Tyne during a whistle stop UK tour on May 20, 2019 in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England. His visit to Newcastle comes ahead of the 2019 European elections in the United Kingdom which will take place on May 23. The Brexit Party, a pro-Brexit Eurosceptic political party formed in 2019, is reported to be polling in front of Labour and the Conservatives for the European parliament elections. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, ENGLAND - MAY 20: Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage (L) has what is thought to have been a milkshake thrown over him as he visits Northumberland Street in Newcastle Upon Tyne during a whistle stop UK tour on May 20, 2019 in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England. His visit to Newcastle comes ahead of the 2019 European elections in the United Kingdom which will take place on May 23. The Brexit Party, a pro-Brexit Eurosceptic political party formed in 2019, is reported to be polling in front of Labour and the Conservatives for the European parliament elections. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, ENGLAND - MAY 20: Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage (R) has what is thought to have been a milkshake thrown over him as he visits Northumberland Street in Newcastle Upon Tyne during a whistle stop UK tour on May 20, 2019 in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England. His visit to Newcastle comes ahead of the 2019 European elections in the United Kingdom which will take place on May 23. The Brexit Party, a pro-Brexit Eurosceptic political party formed in 2019, is reported to be polling in front of Labour and the Conservatives for the European parliament elections. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
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The former English Defence League founder, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, was arguing with an Asian man who then threw his drink at his head.

Since then, several other members of the public have attempted to repeat the unusual protest in an apparent tribute to the Warrington culprit.

Ukip's South West MEP candidate Carl Benjamin has also been the victim of numerous attempted milkshake attacks, including one in Salisbury on Sunday which left him covered in the liquid.

A scuffle also broke out in Truro, Cornwall, when two protesters tried and failed to throw the drink at him.

Mr Benjamin, who also goes by his YouTuber name Sargon of Akkad, had become notorious for comments about raping Labour MP Jess Phillips.

Ms Phillips had said she was "sickened" by the comments, which Mr Benjamin said were a joke.

The spate of milkshake incidents has become so common that a McDonald's branch in Edinburgh was asked to stop selling the drink when Mr Farage made a campaign visit on Friday evening.

European Parliament election
A sign in a McDonald's restaurant in Edinburgh announces that no milkshakes will be sold (PA)

Afterwards, Burger King UK tweeted: "Dear people of Scotland. We're selling milkshakes all weekend. Have fun. Love BK."

Dear people of Scotland.

We're selling milkshakes all weekend.

Have fun.

Love BK #justsaying

— Burger King (@BurgerKingUK) May 18, 2019

While the milkshake may be a new tool of protest during this election campaign, throwing food items at politicians is a well-established practice.

Then-deputy prime minister John Prescott notoriously punched a man who threw an egg at him in Rhyl, north-east Wales, in 2001.

Politicians hit by eggs
Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott responded angrily after being hit by an egg in Rhyl (David Kendall/PA)

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was also hit with an egg by a Brexit supporter who shouted "Respect the vote" as he struck him at the Muslim Welfare Centre in Finsbury Park, north London.

And Tony Blair was dusted with purple flour when demonstrators threw it in to the Commons chamber during Prime Minister's Questions in 2004.

After being soaked by a banana and salted caramel milkshake in Newcastle, Mr Farage could be heard asking his team "How did you not spot that?", suggesting that politicians are on high alert to ensure they are not caught out.

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