Nigel Farage moans he's a victim of ‘toxic cancel culture’ after charity event axed
There had been a backlash from some members of the club over the decision to book Farage for a charity event
Nigel Farage has complained about being a victim of 'cancel culture' after a charity event he was set to host at a rugby club was called off after suggestions the club was giving a "bigot a platform".
Preston Grasshoppers RFC had announced they were putting on "An evening with Nigel Farage: The man not the myth" on December 21, to raise money for St Catherine’s Hospice.
The advert for the evening said it would offer a "fascinating look at the life, times, background and career of a truly groundbreaking politician", but would be about "his journey" as opposed to his politics.
But the event sparked a backlash from fans and members. In his latest column for the Daily Mail, the former UKIP leader says that two "politically-active" members of the rugby club "took offence" to the fundraiser. He called one of them out by name - surgeon Hussein Khambalia.
Khambalia had responded to a tweet from the club about the event, writing: "Is this a joke @RugbyHoppers? How can you justify giving this bigot a platform at what is supposed to be an inclusive community rugby club.
"You are supposed to be helping to increase participation in rugby from all communities and backgrounds, not inviting racists to lecture us"
Is this a joke @RugbyHoppers ? How can you justify giving this bigot a platform at what is supposed to be an inclusive community rugby club. You are supposed to be helping to increase participation in rugby from all communities and backgrounds, not inviting racists to lecture us
— Hussein Khambalia 🏴🇬🇧🇪🇺🇹🇿🇮🇳 (@hkhambalia) November 7, 2021
Farage said he had been "due to give a speech and then take questions about my life and career" at the event and described the appearance as "an entirely non-political affair".
He accused Khambalia of "putting politics above end-of-life care".
Khambalia responded: "If by 'woke' you mean inclusive, anti-racist, and sensitive to the views of the local community, then I’m proud to be woke and support @RugbyHoppers for this decision."
If by “woke” you mean inclusive, anti-racist and sensitive to the views of the local community, then I’m proud to be woke and support @RugbyHoppers for this decision. Never thought I’d be quoted in @DailyMailUK 😂 https://t.co/j5i2Puyf8z
— Hussein Khambalia 🏴🇬🇧🇪🇺🇹🇿🇮🇳 (@hkhambalia) November 9, 2021
Another member, Steve Tiernan, posted a picture online of him having cut up his membership card in protest against the event.
— Steve Tiernan💙 (@Steve_Tiernan) November 7, 2021
Tiernan told LancsLive: "The decision was always going to have that backlash.
"For the reputation of the club, I don’t think it was in-keeping with the brilliant philosophy of an amazing club like Preston Grasshoppers."
In his column, Farage said the "wellbeing of a hospice with a catchment area of 380,000 people had been sacrificed" because of "the hate-fest from hard-Left trolls".
Farage didn't stop there in his attack against the "cancel culture mob", going on to suggest they would even commit murder to achieve their aims.
After the cancellation, Grasshoppers said: "'We are an inclusive club, and it wasn’t the right thing for us."
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Local councillor John Potter said he has been "disappointed that the club decided to host such a divisive figure".
In a statement on their website, the club wrote: "The club took a private booking with Nigel Farage as a speaker at a dinner scheduled for 21st December 2021.
"The club are not the organisers of the event, but a posting was made on our website advertising the event. This has made it appear that we are the promoters of the event. Following feedback from our members and wider comments on social media, the club has taken the decision to cancel the booking.
"We apologise for posting the event on the website and giving the impression that we are the promoters of the event or endorse any political views. The club would reiterate that we don’t endorse and align ourselves with any political party or organisation."