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Nigel Farage Has Accused Jo Cox's Widower Of Supporting Extremism

Brendan Cox warned the former UKIP leader against "blaming politicians for the actions of extremists" – prompting a response from Farage that is now subject to legal action.

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Nigel Farage has accused Brendan Cox, the husband of murdered Labour MP Jo Cox, of supporting extremism after he criticised Farage for attempting to link the Berlin attack to decisions made by Angela Merkel.

@Nigel_Farage blaming politicians for the actions of extremists? That's a slippery slope Nigel

Brendan Cox, whose wife was murdered by far-right supporter Thomas Mair at the height of this summer's EU referendum campaign, criticised the former UKIP leader on Tuesday morning for blaming the German chancellor's migration policy for the Berlin terror attack.

Immediately afterwards Farage appeared on LBC radio and doubled down.

Farage responds to @MrBrendanCox on LBC - "He would know more about extremists than me, wouldn't he?" cites his support for @hopenothate

Farage said the million migrants accepted by Germany imperilled European "safety and civilisation", following reports that the driver of the lorry which was driven into a Berlin Christmas market was a 23-year-old refugee from Pakistan.

"I have to say, I'm not even sure why someone from Pakistan qualifies as a refugee," said Farage. "Let's be honest about this, Mrs Merkel made one of the worst policy decisions we've seen from a European leader in 70 years."

The former UKIP leader then attacked Brendan Cox for backing the anti-racism group Hope Not Hate.

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.@MrBrendanCox "continues to be active in the political arena", Farage says, & he can't avoid responding "given organisations he supports"

"He'd know more about extremists than me, Mr Cox, he backs organisations like Hope Not Hate who masquerade as being lovely and peaceful but actually pursue violent and very undemocratic means," said Farage.

"I'm sorry Mr Cox but it is time people started to take responsibility for what's happened. Mrs Merkel has directly caused a number of social and terrorist problems in Germany."

In response, Nick Lowles, the founder of Hope Not Hate, said the comments were libellous and demanded that Farage apologise.

.@hopenothate has just sent Nigel Farage a legal letter demanding his retracts and apologises or else we will start legal action.

Hope Not Hate, which has previously campaigned against UKIP, has now launched a crowdfunding campaign to pay for the cost of bringing legal action against Farage over his comments.

In a statement the organisation said: "This morning, on LBC radio, former UKIP leader Nigel Farage launched an outrageous attack on us, on Brendan Cox, husband of murdered MP Jo Cox, and by association on everyone who believes in HOPE not hate. Our lawyer has just sent Farage a letter demanding he retracts and publicly apologises or we will begin legal proceedings against him."

Farage's interview with LBC is available here.

A few people have been asking for Nigel Farage audio. It's in two parts. Part 1: https://t.co/3b6AHv0HpX


Jim Waterson is a politics editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Jim Waterson at jim.waterson@buzzfeed.com.

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