Nigel Farage has reignited his war of words with the BBC, blasting the broadcaster for failing to feature members of his Brexit Party enough on television.
He hit out at a rally last night as the weekly political panel show Question Time was shown without a member of the party despite it leading European election polls.
The episode, filmed in the Scottish town of Elgin, featured a panel predominantly from the country.
It saw Tory MP Bim Afolami joined by Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard, Edinburgh Lib Dem Christine Jardine, the SNP’s John Swinney and Brexiteer human rights lawyer Eilidh Douglas.
Speaking in the West Midlands last night Mr Farage, who has appeared on Question Time 33 times, said: ‘We can choose to buy different newspapers. We can choose to listen to different commercial radio stations.
‘Where I have a problem is when we are effectively taxed £150 a year just to have a television in our house.
‘When the public service broadcaster does not put a single representative of this new party on any major television programme, even when we have gone from nothing to topping the polls.’
Mr Farage laughed as he added: ‘And when we finally do get a one on one interview, I’ll leave it there!’
The right-wing eurosceptic launched a tirade against the BBC at the weekend after after he was given a rough ride by Andrew Marr on his Sunday morning television programme.
Mr Farage complained the ‘public service broadcaster does not put a single representative of this new party on any major television programme, even when we have gone from nothing to topping the polls’
The Brexit Party is enjoying a growing lead in a new EU election poll with the Tories now in fifth
After being quizzed on comments where he suggested replacing the NHS and lavished praise on Vladimir Putin, Mr Farage asked how they were relevant to the election taking place on May 23.
Mr Farage vowed to hasten Theresa May’s exit from Number 10 by winning the European elections with his Brexit Party.
With his party riding high in the opinion polls, Mr Farage predicted that success would add to pressure on the Government to back a no-deal Brexit.
Speaking before the Brexit Party rally in front of hundreds of supporters in Willenhall in the West Midlands, he said: ‘The plan is to top the poll.
‘The plan is to put leaving on WTO terms back on the agenda. The plan is to hasten the exit of Mrs May, who has not played straight with the British electorate.
‘And the plan also is to get people from the Brexit Party as part of the Government’s negotiating team as we head up to October 31.’
His comments came as Hitchin MP Mr Afolami told Question Time that his own parents were voting for Mr Farage’s party.
He said: ‘My family have told me they are voting for the Brexit Party, who didn’t even vote for Brexit in the first place.
‘When I ask them why they say: “My faith in our whole system is being severely tested”.
‘She (Theresa May) has to take to responsibility because she is Prime Minister. If it were me I would have spoken to the opposition parties sooner – straight after the 2017 general election because it was a hung Parliament.
‘Whoever is elected the Tory leader and Prime Minister will be faced with the same arithmetic and Labour and the Lib Dems not voting for any deal trying to create political chaos.’
Asked for his assessment of Boris Johnson, the bookmakers’ favourite in the race to replace Mrs May, Mr Farage challenged him to set out where he stood on Brexit and the Prime Minister’s deal.
‘Do you stand for Mrs May’s treaty or do you stand for a clean-break Brexit?
‘We’ll find out over the next few weeks.’
The former Ukip leader has been targeted by anti-Brexit campaigners, who have put up a series of billboards taking aim at him by highlighting past statements he and his candidates have made.
Photos show the billboards in place at locations including Taunton in Somerset, Coventry and Neath in South Wales, with slogans such as ‘attack the NHS’ and ‘less maternity pay’ next to comments attributed to Brexit Party members.
The billboard in Coventry cites a quote Mr Farage gave during a speech where he said: ‘We need to move to an insurance-based system of healthcare.’
They all feature the Brexit Party branding and logo.
The group Led by Donkeys wrote on Twitter: ‘Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage hasn’t written a manifesto so we’ve done it for him, based on statements by him and his candidates.
‘Billboards going up across the country this week.’