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Farage fails to show mettle after steel band farce

NIGEL Farage's latest bid to prove Ukip is not a racist party descended into farce when a steel band employed to play at its street "carnival" packed up and left on learning they had been hired by the anti-EU party.

Ukip supporters clashed with protesters at the Whitgift shopping centre in Croydon, south London, who carried anti-Ukip banners; one read "Nigel Farage racist scum". In the end, the party leader, due to security concerns, failed to turn up.

In the wake of the party leader's contentious remarks about Romanians, a group turned up in Croydon High Street carrying banners about Nazis.

Former boxer Winston McKenzie, a black Ukip candidate in Thursday's Euro elections, clashed with black teenagers in a debate over whether he was a leader of the community while also being in the anti-Brussels party.

In front of a shop window with the slogan "love colour", Mr McKenzie used a megaphone to thank "all of the patriotic people in this country who are fed up, let down by the situation. I'm sick to death...of hearing the same rhetoric come from the same stale political parties. It's time people woke up and realised this country is being disenfranchised".

Mr McKenzie confirmed Mr Farage would not be attending, citing security concerns, adding: "Croydon is unsafe and a dump."

A Croydon Ukip member, who refused to give his name, said it was understandable that Mr Farage had pulled out of the event, which he described as "frustrating". He added: "You expect a bit of barracking but this was not helpful."

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Local government

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