UK Politics

Farage makes brilliant point in defence of Baden-Powell


NIGEL FARAGE has backed the protesters defending the Robert Baden-Powell statue from removal, as he attacked “mob rule” for trying to erase British history.

Nigel Farage lashed out at activists trying to take down statues of British historical figures across the UK in his first interview since leaving LBC. Mr Farage used the interview to back local residents who travelled to defend the statue of Robert Baden-Powell statue in Poole, Dorset, amid a controversy over his links to Adolf Hitler. The Brexit Party leader pointed out that one of the protesters who defended the statue held up a placard that read “British History Matters”.

Mr Farage told Mike Graham on talkRADIO said: “There were local residents, and a woman holding a placard, saying British History Matters.

“This really in particular shows that we have to impress upon young people that there are aspects of our history you may not like, but you can’t judge the world 300 years ago by today’s values.

“What you can do is teach history correctly. On slavery, we can tell the young people, yes, we had a slave trade, every country had a slave trade – even the Romans had a slave trade.

“But we were the only country to not just abolish slave trade, but we actually use the royal navy to stamp it out in the rest of the world.”

He pointed to a poll that showed a huge majority of Britons disagreed with the protesters actions to tear down the statue of Robert Colston in Bristol.

Mr Farage added: “There is a gap between parliament and the people, the media and the people, I don’t think it has ever been wider.”

“Maybe, the real example to us here is Nelson Mandela when he was released from prison, and he took over South Africa.

“He faced the historical legacy of Cecil Rhodes – a giant historical figure – and what did Mandela do? Did he say we should abolish Rhodes, or burn history books about him?

“No, he set up the Rhodes Mandela foundation, to learn from the past to get a better future.”

The interview on talkRADIO marked the first time Mr Farage has spoken out since he left his talk show on LBC radio “with immediate effect” on Thursday.

The controversy surrounding Baden-Powell follows ongoing clashes about historical figures in Britain.

A statue of Scouts founder Robert Baden-Powell has been given 24/7 security after locals rallied against it being removed.

The controversy was sparked after the statue of the man who founded the Scouts movement appeared on a “target list for attack”.

Following police information, the 12-year-old statue of Robert Baden-Powell is to be “temporarily” removed to protect it, according to the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council.

The statue will have 24-hour security protection until it can be removed.

Baden-Powell, who died aged 83 in 1941, has been criticised by campaigners who have accused him of racism, homophobia and support for Adolf Hitler.

In 2010, declassified MI5 files revealed that Lord Baden-Powell was invited to meet Adolf Hitler after holding friendly talks about forming closer ties with the Hitler Youth.