LBC staff are calling for action from management after a second ugly confrontation at the station's London radio studios between producers and Nigel Farage's inner circle in less than 48 hours.
BuzzFeed News understands Raheem Kassam – Farage's former chief of staff and ex-editor of Breitbart London – needed to be escorted from LBC's studios last night after clashing with the Nigel Farage Show's longtime producer, Christian Mitchell.
Kassam says he was signed into the building by Farage's spokesperson around the time of his 6pm show, but LBC sources told BuzzFeed News he did not have permission or authorisation to be there from anyone at the station.
"He was just marching around, still huffing and angry about how the Steve Bannon interview had gone," one source said, adding that staff members felt "shaken" by his behaviour.
Kassam's frustrations appeared to be directed at LBC staff over the station's political editor questioning former Trump strategist Bannon on air about his support for jailed activist Tommy Robinson.
After being escorted from the premises, Kassam posted a picture of Mitchell's face to his Facebook and Twitter accounts, along with the LBC producer's work email address, inviting his followers to get in touch with him to "tell him what you think".
He later deleted the tweet – the Facebook post remains online – after one staff member said it had been interpreted as "a threat" from the Farage–Bannon camp.
Kassam told BuzzFeed News he was "joking around": "I think the LBC staff don't know my sense of humour. It was meant in jest. If I've rattled anyone who is a bit sensitive, I am incredibly sorry."
He also confirmed that Farage's spokesperson, Dan Jukes, signed him into the LBC studios, but "didn't know" any other details beyond that. Within the hour of Kassam's confrontation with LBC staff, a photo of Kassam and Farage looking delighted was posted on Twitter by Jukes.
"It's like there's one rule for Farage and one rule for everyone else," said an LBC source, who said reporters and producers are waiting for LBC management to take action.
A spokesperson for Global – the company that owns LBC radio – said, "We don't comment on internal matters".
It was the second incident involving the Farage camp and LBC reporters and producers in two days. On Sunday morning, LBC political editor Theo Usherwood got in a heated exchange with Bannon about his support for Robinson during a special two-hour episode of Farage's political chat show.
When the mics were off, Bannon launched into a foul-mouthed tirade against the political reporter, telling him, "Fuck you" and claiming that "Tommy Robinson is the fucking backbone of this country".
Here's the first unedited transcript of the meltdown:
BANNON: Fuck you I don’t want to hear any of your bullshit. If you’re going to news dude, do news. I don't hear your bullshit. If you’re going to do news, do news.
USHERWOOD: I pulled you back on the…
BANNON: Bullshit, if you want to do news do news. If you’re going to pull up stuff like that, tell me you’re going to do it beforehand.
FARAGE: Tommy did, Tommy did break the law.
BANNON: Dude, you couldn’t call me out if your fucking life depended on it.
USHERWOOD: I was fair. I was fair in my questioning. You come and sa-
BANNON: You're just another guy that hates Tommy Robinson, ok? You were just another fucking elite.
FARAGE: Everybody hates Tommy Robinson apart from…
PRODUCER: To be fair the reason I had Theo in is we also, we had so much stuff coming in as well.
BANNON: It’s bullshit. I don’t want to fucking hear it. You guys hate Tommy Robinson. You hate him because he’s a working class guy. You’re one of the fucking elites that hate him.
FARAGE: Tommy Robinson.
BANNON: Tommy Robinson is the fucking backbone of this country. You lose guys like Tommy Robinson you're not going to have a country.
Mark Di Stefano is a media and politics correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Mark Di Stefano at email@example.com.
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