Nigel Farage given standing ovation at German far-right AfD election rally

Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage received a standing ovation at an election rally of the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) where he banged the Brexit drum.

Speaking at the event in Berlin, the MEP complained about the lack of debate in the German campaign about the UK's split from Brussels.

He accused Chancellor Angela Merkel and her centre-left challenger Martin Schulz, the former European Parliament president who he labelled "a pro-EU fanatic", of refusing to discuss Brexit, claiming it was a "huge embarrassment for the European dream that both of them have had".

Ahead of the German election on 24 September, Mr Farage said: "(I'm trying) to get a proper debate going in the biggest, richest and most important, powerful country in Europe about not just the shape of Brexit but perhaps even the shape of the European project to come."

He urged Germans to "say to Brussels: look, the reason the Brits left is because you're behaving so badly, you're taking away so much of people's freedom, liberty and democracy".

Mr Farage said: "We managed to break it in the United Kingdom. At the moment Germany is at a point where it is very, very tough to break through."

However he added: "I predict, in Germany, it will probably start in Bavaria."

He said he was at the rally at the "personal invitation" of his fellow European Parliament member, the AfD's Beatrix von Storch, the granddaughter of Hitler's finance minister Lutz von Krosigk.

Polls currently put the Eurosceptic AfD on up to 11% of the vote, which would make it the largest opposition party if Mrs Merkel wins as expected and renews her coalition with the Social Democratic Party (SPD).

Ms Von Storch - whose party is calling for a referendum on Germany's EU membership - praised Mr Farage for "showing that doing the impossible is possible".

The leaders of the anti-Islam have provoked controversy in the past by saying German border guards should open fire on illegal immigrants "if necessary".

They have also dubbed Berlin's Holocaust memorial a "monument of shame".

Mr Farage said the AfD "have had their problems, as new political parties do", but added: "we're on the verge of something very interesting happening" and that Germany "is about to get a voice of opposition in the Bundestag".