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Farage insists 'I didn't lose my rag' during TV debate

'I didn't lose my rag, Ukip leader Nigel Farage has said. Credit: BBC Radio 5 Live

Ukip leader Nigel Farage has insisted that he did not lose his "rag" when he accused the audience of having a "left-wing bias" during last night's televised debate.

Farage said that was not the first time the BBC had provided an audience which Ukip regarded as unbalanced, citing the episode of Question Time on the night of its by-election victory in Clacton, when the party's representative was given a hostile reception.

But Farage indicated that he would not be raising a formal complaint over the make-up of the audience with the BBC, which hosted the debate, saying he was "too busy" fighting the election.

The Ukip leader was met with jeers and boos when he remarked, "This lot's pretty left-wing believe me" at the "challengers' debate" audience.

"This audience was carefully chosen by an independent polling organisation to represent the balance between all parties," presenter David Dimbleby responded.

Asked whether he had lost his temper, the Ukip leader told BBC Radio 5 Live, "I was very calm about it. I didn't lose my rag."

Farage said his protest had been sparked by the hostile audience reaction to his argument that high levels of immigration were increasing pressure on the housing market, something he said would be accepted by "most rational people".

This is not the first time I've seen this.

The night of the by-election that Douglas Carswell won in Clacton with a landslide, there was a Ukip representative - Patrick O'Flynn - on Question Time in Clacton and the audience were deeply hostile to him."

– Nigel Farage during the BBC Debate

Asked if he blamed the BBC, he said, "Sometimes these things go wrong, sometimes you get groups who apply to be on programmes who perhaps aren't as truthful on their applications as they could be.

"In this case, the BBC gave the job to a polling company called ICM who are famous for getting everything about Ukip wrong and that I think was the mistake."

"What really matters are the millions of people watching on television," he added.

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