Man arrested after objects thrown at Nigel Farage in Barnsley

A 28-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of a public order offence after Nigel Farage had objects hurled at him while campaigning in Barnsley.

The Reform UK leader was waving to local people from the top of the party’s battlebus in South Yorkshire on Tuesday morning when two separate objects were thrown at him.

A protester could be seen shouting from a work site close to the bus, before something was hurled at Farage.

A man was then tackled by police officers near Barnsley town centre.

Farage said the “violent” attack was “pretty nasty”, and confirmed police had told his team before the incident that it was “not a very good idea” for them to leave the battlebus.

“Protest is allowed,” Farage said. “Protest is part of our democratic process. But protest needs to be within certain bounds. Protest does not involve chucking cement towards me, or even stones.

“I don’t mind if someone shouts something rude at me, I would probably shout it back. But when it comes to violence that actually poses a real threat.”

The Reform leader said he agreed that people who throw objects during campaigns should “absolutely” go to jail.

A South Yorkshire police spokesperson said: “We have arrested a 28-year-old man on suspicion of public order offences following disorder in Barnsley town centre today (11 June).

“It is believed that the man threw objects from a nearby construction area. A suspect was quickly detained and remains in police custody.”

Farage thanked South Yorkshire police, adding: “I will not be bullied or cowed by a violent leftwing mob who hate our country.”

Stephanie Peacock, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Barnsley South, condemned the violence.

Peacock said: “Intimidation has no place in our politics. I condemn the violence we saw in Barnsley town centre today.

“All candidates in this election should be free to campaign without being subject to violence or intimidation.”

The home secretary, James Cleverly, said “there must be no place for violence and intimidation in our politics and these actions should be condemned by everyone”. He thanked the police for detaining the suspect quickly.

Farage had been expected to be interviewed by the BBC’s Nick Robinson for Panorama as part of his series with party leaders, but on Tuesday this was “postponed for logistical reasons”.

Labour’s Keir Starmer will be grilled on Friday, and other leaders being interviewed by Robinson include the Scottish National party’s John Swinney, Plaid Cymru’s Rhun ap Iorwerth, the Green party’s Adrian Ramsay and the Liberal Democrats’ Ed Davey.

A week ago Victoria Thomas Bowen, 25, was charged with assault by beating and criminal damage after a milkshake was thrown over Farage as he left the Moon and Starfish Wetherspoon’s pub in Clacton-on-Sea, Essex.

Farage had just addressed supporters in the pub before he was seen with the yellow drink splattered across his dark blue suit as he boarded his campaign bus.

He tried to make light of the milkshake incident later that day as he posed for media with a tray of four McDonald’s banana milkshakes during a visit to Jaywick in Essex.

Senior Labour figures including Yvette Cooper and David Lammy condemned the milkshake incident at the time.

It is not the first time Farage has had a milkshake thrown at him while campaigning. In 2019, when he was campaigning as the leader of the Brexit party, a Five Guys banana and salted caramel milkshake was thrown at him during a walkabout in Newcastle.