Milkshakes become weapon of choice in UK European campaign as Farage next to get hit

Brexit Party leader Nigel gestures after being hit with a milkshake while arriving for a Brexit Party campaign event in Newcastle, Britain, May 20, 2019. (Reuters)
Updated 20 May 2019

Milkshakes become weapon of choice in UK European campaign as Farage next to get hit

  • The Brexit Party leader had just given a speech, as part of a nationwide tour ahead of Thursday's European elections
  • The attack has been condemned by Downing Street and by some of Farage’s other political opponents

LONDON: The lowly milkshake has turned into an unlikely weapon of choice for Britons determined to make a splashy statement against the rise of the Brexit-backing populist right.
Former UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader Nigel Farage became the latest political figure Monday to be doused with the sticky concoction while campaigning for his new Brexit Party in this week’s European Parliament election.

Images shared on social media showed a grim-faced Farage — his black suit covered from shoulder to toe — being led away by a bodyguard during a campaign stop in the northern city of Newcastle.
The suspected culprit told the Press Association it was a £5.25 ($6.70, six euro) banana and salted caramel shake he bought at the local Five Guys hamburger chain store.
“I didn’t know he was in town. I thought this is my only chance,” the 32-year-old was quoted as saying before being detained by the police.

A man is detained by police after throwing a milkshake on Brexit Party leader Nigel before a Brexit Party campaign event in Newcastle, Britain, May 20, 2019. (Reuters)

First-time offenders in such cases usually pay a small fine.
In a tweet, Farage blamed the incident on EU supporters who “have become radicalized, to the extent that normal campaigning is becoming impossible.”
The European Parliament election campaign has turned into a test of Britons’ support for Brexit three years after they first narrowly voted to leave the bloc.
Farage’s Brexit Party is leading the polls on its promise to get Britain out quickly and by any means.

Farage has become the latest victim of a protest which has seen other European election candidates also have milkshake thrown over them. (Reuters)

The Remain camp’s milkshake resistance meanwhile has also targeted a far-right leader who is best known by his online alias Tommy Robinson — an adviser to UKIP who once headed the now-banned English Defense League.
A clip that went viral this month showed a young man of Asian descent splashing Robinson in the face with a McDonald’s drink in response to something the far-right leader said.
Robinson fought back by landing a few punches at the man before being restrained.
Meanwhile UKIP European Parliament candidate Carl Benjamin — known by his social media pseudonym Sargon of Akkad — has been “milkshaked” at least four times this month.
A defiant Benjamin showed up to one of his events this week with a McDonald’s cup in his hand.
The entire mess prompted McDonald’s to temporarily halt milkshake sales near the site of a campaign event Farage held last week.
“We will not be selling milkshakes or ice cream tonight,” a sign taped to the door of the fast food chain’s central Edinburgh restaurant said.
“This is due to a police request given recent events.”

The banana and salted caramel milkshake is believed to have been purchased from Five Guys, costing £5.25. (Reuters)

That decision elicited a controversial comeback from the US chain’s eternal rival Burger King.
“Dear people of Scotland,” the @BurgerKingUK account wrote on Saturday.
“We’re selling milkshakes all weekend. Have fun. Love BK.”
It signed the post with the #justsaying hashtag.
A flurry of angry comments on Twitter prompted the account to later add: “We’d never endorse violence — or wasting our delicious milkshakes!“
A spokesman for Theresa May said on a more somber note that the premier “has been clear that politicians should be able to go about their work and campaign without harassment, intimidation, or abuse.”

Pakistani activist known for criticism killed in Islamabad

Updated 7 min 38 sec ago

Pakistani activist known for criticism killed in Islamabad

  • Local police say online activist Mohammad Bilal Khan was killed Sunday night
  • In addition to his activism, Khan was a freelance journalist

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani police say an activist known for his online criticism of the country’s military and politicians has been killed by unknown assailants in a wooded area of the capital, Islamabad.
Local police official Ayaz Khan says Mohammad Bilal Khan was killed Sunday night, drawing condemnation from his friends on social media.
Police said Monday that an unknown person called the activist to come to the Karachi Company neighborhood, where he and his cousin were attacked with daggers.
The cousin was in critical condition.
In addition to his activism, Khan was a freelance journalist.
The attack took place hours after Khan bluntly criticized the newly appointed spy chief Lt. Gen. Faiz Hameed, who had previously worked as the head of internal security at Pakistan’s intelligence agency Inter-Services Intelligence.