Nigel Farage pulls out of Croydon Ukip event over 'safety' fears

Ukip said Farage pulled out because he "wouldn't feel safe." Credit: PA

By Chris Ship: Deputy Political Editor

The Ukip leader, Nigel Farage, has pulled out of a campaign event in Croydon in south London.

The event, outside the main shopping centre, was supposed to showcase the support Ukip has from black and ethnic minority communities.

However, one of the organisers announced that Mr Farage was not turning up because he "wouldn't feel safe."

It followed a number of arguments in the street between supporters and opponents.

An event organiser said Farage wouldn't have "felt safe" at the event. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Some called the party "racist." Others blamed the media for misrepresenting the views of the majority in the party.

The event started badly when a three-member steel band hired to play at the event announced that they would not have agreed to it if they had known it was a part of the Ukip election campaign.

The band quickly packed up.

UKIP supporters clash with opponents in Croydon town centre. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

A 26-year-old man from Croydon argued with supporters about the claims by one Ukip candidate that the comedian Lenny Henry should emigrate to a "black country."

It is thought Nigel Farage was waiting in a car a short distance away.

But he decided not to attend.