The BBC has defended Jo Brand after Nigel Farage accused her of inciting violence.
The comedian made a comment on Radio 4 show Heresy on Tuesday about the spate of milkshakes thrown at Farage and other politicians lobbying during last month’s European Elections.
Brand quipped: "Why bother with a milkshake when you could get some battery acid?"
Farage took to Twitter to accuse the comedian of inciting violence and insisted “the police need to act”.
This is incitement of violence and the police need to act. https://t.co/j3F0jsKGBZ— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) June 12, 2019
I am sick to death of overpaid, left wing, so-called comedians on the BBC who think their view is morally superior. Can you imagine the reaction if I had said the same thing as Jo Brand? pic.twitter.com/hCEFSCqMGI— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) June 13, 2019
The BBC has Brand’s remark, saying: “Heresy is a long-running comedy programme where, as the title implies and as our listeners know, panellists often say things which are deliberately provocative but are not intended to be taken seriously.”
Outspoken TV presenter Piers Morgan has waded into the furore around Brand’s comment, linking it to former Radio 5 host Danny Baker.
Why did the BBC instantly sack Danny Baker for an offensive royal baby tweet but won’t sack Jo Brand for saying she’d like acid to be thrown at politicians?— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) June 13, 2019
He wrote: “Disgusting. This is an incitement for people to throw acid at politicians. Shame on you, Jo Brand.”
Morgan added: “Why did the BBC instantly sack Danny Baker for an offensive royal baby tweet but won’t sack Jo Brand for saying she’d like acid to be thrown at politicians?”
Baker was sacked and forced to issue a formal apology after sharing an image of chimpanzee on Twitter in response to the birth of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s son Archie.
Good morning, everyone.— Danny Baker (@prodnose) May 10, 2019
Following one of the worst days of my life I just want to formally apologise for the outrage I caused and explain how I got myself into this mess.
I chose the wrong photo to illustrate a joke. Disastrously so.
Host of the show Victoria Coren Mitchell said: “Heresy is supposed to be a show that stimulates debate so I should step back and leave listeners to it anyway. But please stop saying ‘You wouldn't think that if....’. I would and I do. It's an absolute position on jokes.”
She also addressed a Tweet at Farage, insisting the issue was one of free speech, saying: “Nigel! I’m genuinely disappointed; we don’t agree on everything, but I would totally have had you down as a free speech man. Especially when it comes to jokes.”
Nigel! I’m genuinely disappointed; we don’t agree on everything, but I would totally have had you down as a free speech man. Especially when it comes to jokes. https://t.co/9Ya7THiAmU— Victoria Coren Mitchell (@VictoriaCoren) June 12, 2019
Heresy is billed as a “Discussion programme which challenges established ideas and questions received wisdom.”
Brand said during the show: "Well, yes I would say that but that's because certain unpleasant characters are being thrown to the fore and they're very, very easy to hate
“And I'm kind of thinking: 'Why bother with a milkshake when you could get some battery acid?
"That's just me. I'm not going to do it, it's purely a fantasy, but I think milkshakes are pathetic, I honestly do, sorry."