Nigel Farage has provoked an outpouring of rage after he tried to claim the media was covering up details about asylum seekers staying at a hotel.
The Brexit Party leader visited the Bromsgrove Hotel and Spa in Worcestershire with camera crews to film another rant about migrants.
In the 10-minute clip on his YouTube channel, Farage toured the hotel which was housing 147 asylum seekers following a tip-off from locals.
The hotel had been closed to the public, which is what prompted Farage’s visit.
In the footage, he confronts a member of staff demanding to book a room and know who is staying at the accommodation. The man said he was unable to disclose those details.
He then confronted another member of staff with the same question and received the same response. Upon leaving, Farage muttered smugly: ‘Well, nice work if you can get it.’
The Eurosceptic, who lost his job recently at LBC Radio, accused the mainstream media of ‘covering up’ the story and described the hotel as being ‘completely taken over’ by migrants.
He questioned why those being housed should be kept in a four-star hotel, fed, receive free medical treatment and claimed, even if their asylum claims were turned down, they would still remain in the UK.
He was swiftly rebuked by politicians and Twitter users alike.
Bromsgrove Liberal Democrats spokesperson Sam Evans accused him of whipping up hatred in the local community.
‘Whilst we understand concerns about illegal immigration, it is unacceptable that Mr Farage should travel to Bromsgrove to make a video criticising people temporarily housed here for safety reasons due to the pandemic.
‘These people are not illegal immigrants and are legitimately housed in our local area whilst awaiting a decision on their status.
‘Due to UK law they are prohibited from working in the UK.’
‘Nigel’s description of one of our hotels as ‘completely taken over’ by migrants is inaccurate and unacceptable.’
Evans said the community members were happy to help out and that local runners donated sports equipment and other generous donations even though many people were experiencing their own hardships and challenges.
But it was people’s response on Twitter that really reflected the mood.
@Rova_xo joked: ‘It wasn’t actually closed to the public #farage, we had a town meeting and all agreed to tell you that all hotels were booked up and closed to the public so you’d piss off. The decent people of Bromsgrove don’t want your hatred in our home town.’
Danny Wallace wrote: ‘This is Nigel’s whole life. Dressing up as Alan Partridge and then driving all the way to Bromsgrove to pretend he wants to stay there.’
One user suggested that maybe the hotel didn’t ‘accept racists’.
‘Its a 4 star hotel after all, it has higher standards,’ she added.
Joe Burt said: ‘Should’ve checked @bookingcom first mate.’
Farage has tried to claim that there are 48,000 asylum seekers in the country and, with contracts between the Home Office and large companies, such as Serco, it would cost the taxpayer £46 billion over ten years.
The contract to house the asylum seekers is between Serco and the Home Office and Bromsgrove District Council which confirmed in April that migrants were lodged there under emergency measures which at the time were not discussed with the local authority.
Serco said it had taken all appropriate measures and precautions to look after the asylum seekers in its care in line with government and Public Health England guidelines and instructions.
The Home Office commented: ‘We have moved asylum seekers, where necessary to do so, into temporary accommodation to protect them and ensure social distancing.
‘This is to help stop the spread of coronavirus in line with public health guidance.
‘We would like to acknowledge the work that local authorities have done to support these temporary arrangements.’