Harpenden Remainer protests against UKIP and Brexit Party outside Harpenden hustings

PUBLISHED: 15:04 22 May 2019 | UPDATED: 18:18 22 May 2019

Carol Hedges outside the Harpenden hustings. Picture: Judith Leary-Joyce

Carol Hedges outside the Harpenden hustings. Picture: Judith Leary-Joyce

Archant

A Harpenden Remainer staged a one-woman protest outside the town's hustings.

Carol Hedges held a banner up outside the Harpenden EU hustings on May 14 to point out the "hateful rhetoric" of the Brexit Party and UKIP, both of which had a representative on the event panel.

She stood outside Harpenden Public Halls while the event was ongoing, with a placard plastered with #ElectNoHate and controversial tweets from and headlines about people in the parties.

Carol, who lost her grandparents to the Holocaust, said: "I copied out several unacceptable things Nigel Farage had said about Jews, and some racist and deeply offensive tweets from a couple of UKIP MEP candidates, and stuck them onto a placard with my #ElectNoHate hashtag. If these people are to be allowed a public platform in the name of 'free speech and democracy', then I am allowed to object to their presence in a similar vein."

UKIP was set up in 1993 to campaign for Britain's exit from the European Union, now named Brexit, and became more successful in 2014 under Nigel Farage. The Brexit Party was established by the former UKIP leader this year.

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Paul Hearn was the Brexit Party candidate at the Harpenden hustings, and Stuart Agnew was representing UKIP.

Each representative submitted a manifesto for the audience. Mr Hearn's claimed the Brexit extension was illegal and called the Withdrawal Agreement "Theresa May's draft Stay and Pay Forever agreement".

Mr Agnew's statement claimed the EU is a "political project to culminate in a United States of Europe".

Carol's sign included a headline reading "Jews should concern Americans more than Russian influence, Nigel Farage says", and a tweet by the politician which reads: "The European Parliament, in their foolishness, have voted for increased maternity pay. I'm off for a drink."

She highlighted that South West MEP candidate Carla Denyer threatened to boycott a University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) event where she would share a platform with UKIP candidate Carl Benjamin. The event was later cancelled.

The hustings was organised by The Harpenden Society. The society's Ron Taylor said: "Every party fighting for the election on Thursday was represented and we offered one person from each party a place."

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