Farage: Vote for Brexit or there will be mass sexual assaults

UK Independence Party leader says he fears a repeat of what happened in Cologne due to uncontrolled migration from EU and North Africa

Farage: Vote for Brexit or there will be mass sexual assaults

Nigel Farrage talks with the media in this file photo | Image: YVES LOGGHE / Associated Press

Nigel Farage has suggested there could be mass sex attacks by gangs of migrants like those in Cologne unless the UK votes to leave the EU.

The UK Independence Party leader says he fears "big cultural issues" could result from uncontrolled migration from Europe and North Africa, putting the safety of women in danger.

He told the Sunday Telegraph: "The nuclear bomb this time would be about Cologne", referring to the German city where migrant men allegedly launched a mass sex attack against hundreds of women celebrating New Year's Eve.

Asked whether he believed a similar thing could happen in Britain, he replied: "It depends if they get EU passports. It depends if we vote for Brexit or not. It is an issue."

Mr Farage caused controversy in last year's general election campaign by claiming foreign HIV patients were costing the NHS £25,000 each a year.

Now he hopes that focusing on the risks of migration will bring victory for his campaign to have the UK leave the European Union.

He blamed the Prime Minister, who he called "Dishonest Dave", for ignoring concerns about mass migration from the EU - but his claims are expected to be pounced on by Remain campaigners.

Labour deputy leader Tom Watson said: "I can see why the Leave campaign are trying to keep Nigel Farage in a box on that. I think it's very lowest common denominator politics.

"I think he's courting controversy and trying to frighten people. He usually does these things during elections to get attention and I don't really want to help him in that.

"I just don't understand the logic of his argument there...it's improper conduct."

The Liberal Democrats said Mr Farage's remarks were "disgraceful" and that his "scaremongering has sunk to new depths".

Jo Swinson, Lib Dem former Business Minister, said that Mr Farage was "stoking racial tensions".

Leave campaigner Tory MP Nadine Dorries said: "I don't think we can dismiss it, we'd be doing those women (in Cologne) a disservice.

"I would say it's probably not the best argument to put forward for Brexit. People are getting slightly carried away with the examples they're putting forward."

Labour MP and Leave campaigner Kate Hoey said: "There are cultural differences. People have a different attitude in different countries to women.

"In the UK we have a very clear view that women are equal and we abhor anything that is sexual abuse of any kind."