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Nigel Farage starts election cycle with claim Muslims do not share British values

Honorary president of the anti-immigration Reform UK party told Sky News he blamed Labour and the Conservatives for driving immigration
Farage was a leading figure in the movement for the UK to leave the European Union (AFP/File)

Prominent right-wing commentator, politician, and Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage has accused young Muslims of hating British values.

Speaking to Sky News on Sunday, Farage, who is currently the honorary president of the anti-immigration Reform UK party said: "We have a growing number of young people in this country who do not subscribe to British values."

The former UK Independence Party leader went on to add: "In fact, loathe much of what we stand for. I think we see them on the streets of London every Saturday."

When asked by Sky News presenter Trevor Phillips to clarify whether he meant Muslims, Farage said he did before claiming that 46 percent of the community were supporters of Hamas, an organisation proscribed in the UK.

A longstanding critic of immigration, Farage has often specifically targeted the Muslim community in his rhetoric.

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The former banker was also the figurehead of the Brexit movement, which successfully campaigned for Britain to leave the European Union in a referendum held in 2016.

One infamous poster he revealed during the campaign depicted hordes of refugees entering Europe with the caption: "Breaking point."

'Factually incorrect'

Farage's comments come ahead of the UK general elections, which are due to be held on 4 July.

Immigration and the position of the Muslim community in British society are themes that are regularly used by politicians to rally their supporters during election periods.

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While his comments were welcomed by those on the right, several political parties and celebrities have put out statements condemning Farage.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan, a foreign office minister with the ruling Conservative government, backed Farage's comments, claiming some Muslims "want to challenge British values".

"There are a very small proportion for whom they want to challenge those values that we hold dear in the UK, which are British values," Trevelyan said.

However, Labour MP Stella Creasy said: " I won't share Farage's vile and factually incorrect comments about Muslims and immigration. 

"This drumbeat of hate will only get louder if it isn't drowned out by a cacophony of solidarity," she warned.

Satirist Jolyon Rubinstein also added: "If Nigel Farage had used the word Jew instead of Muslim it would be leading every front page today."

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