A Good Morning Britain (GMB) presenter has criticised Nigel Farage for blaming the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement for some of the Bristol riots on Sunday evening.
Thousands took the streets over the weekend to protest against legislation giving police increased powers to shut down peaceful protests.
Demonstrations turned ugly when protesters began hurling projectiles at officers and set vehicles alight on Sunday night.
Joining a wave of condemnation online, Farage wrote: “In Bristol tonight we see what the soft-headed approach to the anti-police BLM leads to,” alluding to BLM protests last summer following the death of George Floyd in America.
“Wake up everyone, this is not about racial justice. These people want all-out anarchy and street violence.”
The comment left some wondering how Farage came to that conclusion, with GMB weatherman Alex Beresford voicing his concerns over the claim.
“Sorry what has BLM got to do with the scenes in Bristol today?” he replied to Farage’s post.
Many Twitter users backed Beresford, claiming Farage’s comments were “racist”.
Others, however, wondered if the same extreme activists who incited the violence at the peaceful BLM demonstrations last year were also in attendance this time around, with the sole purpose of causing trouble.
Farage has since followed up on his original post, explaining in a separate tweet: “The BLM protests were anti-police, it is a key goal of the organisation. The worrying events in Bristol tonight are an extension of that. We have given into and encouraged the extreme left, and this is the result.”
Farage has been approached for comment.
This is not the first time the former Brexit Party leader has been accused of racist attitudes towards the BLM movement.
Earlier this year, he said of the organisation: “Does @SadiqKhan not understand that BLM is an extremist, Marxist organisation that now wants to become a political party? Perhaps he will join as a member.”
Last year, he was called out once before for claiming a peaceful protest of hundreds of people who had gathered in Brixton to commemorate the passing of the 1833 Abolition of Slavery Act was “terrifying,” likening protesters to a “paramilitary-like force”.
“This is what the BLM movement wanted from the start and it will divide our society like never before,” he said on social media, which was challenged by local MPs in attendance.
He also sparked fury after he compared BLM activists to the Taliban, after the statue of Edward Colston was removed and thrown into the Bristol canal by protesters in the summer.
He tweeted at the time: “A new form of the Taliban was born in the UK today. Unless we get moral leadership quickly our cities won’t be worth living in.”
When asked about this tweet on GMB, he explained that “the Taliban love to blow up and destroy historical monuments from a different time that they do not approve”.