Farage furious over Jo Brand's 'throw battery acid not milkshake' joke

Brexit party leader calls for police action over comedian???s comments on BBC Radio 4

Nigel Farage and Jo Brand.
The BBC has defended comments made by Jo Brand, which Nigel Farage claimed were incitement of violence. Photograph: PA

The BBC has defended the comedian Jo Brand against claims she incited violence in comments she made during a radio show.

Brand, who joined the Heresy talk show on Radio 4 as a guest on Tuesday, joked about throwing battery acid at ???unpleasant characters??? instead of milkshakes.

Nigel Farage, the leader of the Brexit party and one of several European election candidates that had milkshakes thrown on them in recent weeks, tweeted: ???This is incitement of violence and the police need to act.???

On the show, Brand said: ???Why bother with a milkshake when you could get some battery acid????

The comedian went on to say she was joking and not a fan of the milkshake stunts. ???That???s just me. I???m not going to do it,??? she said. ???It???s purely a fantasy, but I think milkshakes are pathetic, I honestly do, sorry.???

However, this part was edited out of a clip that was widely shared online.

The BBC said jokes made on Heresy were ???deliberately provocative as the title implies???, and they were ???not intended to be taken seriously???.

Heresy???s host, Victoria Coren Mitchell, defended Brand. She tweeted that Heresy was ???supposed to be a show that stimulates debate??? and she believed ???all people should be free to make jokes about anything???.

Coren Mitchell said the same show, the first of the series after a three-year hiatus, contained a joke about the Holocaust and her relatives and that ???nobody??? had complained about that.

Victoria Coren Mitchell (@VictoriaCoren)

To be honest, I???m relieved at least a couple of people are angry, even if it???s only a couple. It???s supposed to be a heretical programme; I was worried we???d gone a bit timid and benign.

June 11, 2019

In response to Farage???s criticism, Coren Mitchell said: ???Nigel! I???m genuinely disappointed. We don???t agree on everything, but I would totally have had you down as a free speech man. Especially when it comes to jokes.???

The remain campaigner Femi Oluwole joined Coren Mitchell in accusing Farage of double standards, and responded to his tweet about Brand???s comments with a video showing Farage saying he would be forced to ??????pick up a rifle??? if Brexit wasn???t delivered.

Others sided with Farage, among them Kevin Maguire, the associate editor of the Daily Mirror, who called Brand???s quip ???dangerous and unfunny???, and ???a mistake in the current climate???.

??? This article was amended on 13 June 2019 to remove references to the ???far-right??? in the text and subheading.