Former UKIP leader mocked for claiming Vicar of Dibley symbolises 'Satanism'

UKIP's Gerard Batten

UKIP's Gerard Batten - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Former UKIP leader Gerard Batten has been mocked after claiming that Dawn French's Vicar of Dibley character symbolises "satanism".

In a call to "defund the BBC", the short-lived UKIP leader was branded an "idiot" for his musings on the popular comedy show.

He tweeted: "Please retweet this. Dawn French, the BBC's Vicar of Dibley wears an upside down cross. This is a symbol of Satanism. This isn’t a prop depart mistake. This is what we are forced to pay the License Fee for. DEFUND the BBC!"

One replied: "I can’t believe I’m seeing this. Batten, maybe it’s time to retire from...whatever it is you do."

Alliance Party leader Naomi Long wrote: "Wait until he finds out that Dawn French isn't actually a vicar, but an actor..."

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"I can't believe this is genuine," commented Aidan Moffat. "A fully-grown adult human actually thinks Dawn French is a Satanist. Yes, he knows nothing about Christian symbols (I think it's a St. Peter Cross – even I know that, and I'm an atheist!), but – crucially – HE THINKS DAWN FRENCH IS A SATANIST."

Another said: "Blimey! You've gone full fruitcake! Judging by some of the replies here at least fruitcakes will be plentiful after Brexit."

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"These are the same people telling us that Brexit is a great idea," noted @claraeuro.

"I tell you, Satanism's got a lot less scary since The Omen," added comedian David Baddiel.

But despite the criticism, Batten went on to double down on his claims. "I'm surprised this has triggered so many people?" he pondered.

"They haven't said 'she is signifying her reverence for St Peter'. A statement that would have to be defended. They deny it’s a symbol of mockery & Satanism - which it is. I'm surprised so many noticed or cared."

He later called for the BBC to "confirm or deny what the meaning is" of the accessory.

Batten went on to pick a battle with the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh claiming their insistence that they are two of the first to have a coronavirus vaccine "shows how stupid they are".

French is reprising her role as Geraldine Granger in The Vicar of Dibley In Lockdown on BBC One on Monday at 8.50pm.

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