Farage stands by comment describing Tate as ‘important voice’ for men

The Reform UK leader was on the campaign trail in Clacton-on-Sea.

Reform UK leader Nigel Farage
Reform UK leader Nigel Farage (Tim Markland/PA)

Nigel Farage has stood by his comment describing Andrew Tate as an “important voice” for men as he greeted supporters in Clacton-on-Sea.

The Reform UK leader had praised Tate while speaking on the Strike It Big podcast in February for defending “male culture” and said the “jury is out” on investigations into the influencer, The Guardian reported.

Since December 2022, Tate has faced charges in Romania of human trafficking, rape, and forming a criminal gang to sexually exploit women, which he denies.

Asked whether Tate was an “important voice” for men as he was leaving a meeting with supporters, Mr Farage told the PA news agency: “He’s got a massive following and that shows you how big the gap is.

“I mean, clearly he’s facing some serious allegations and has said some things that are difficult to level with, but the fact that he’s got the following shows you how big the gap is.”

Mr Farage did not specify what “gap” he was referring to.

The Reform leader went on to take a punt on an arcade machine in front of journalists after the event, which took place near Clacton pier.

Reform UK leader Nigel Farage arriving in Clacton-on-Sea, Essex
Reform UK leader Nigel Farage arriving in Clacton-on-Sea, Essex (Joe Giddens/PA)

Asked by French news channel BFM TV if he was hopeful of winning in Clacton, Mr Farage said: “I hope so, but never take anything in life for granted.”

Mr Farage appeared to be popular with disaffected Tory voters who praised him for speaking “sense” and being tough on immigration.

Ron Fry, 80, had been a Conservative member for 20 years but left the party last year because of its “failures on so many fronts”.

The retired engineer said he voted Conservative at every election but will break the habit on July 4 – by backing Reform UK.

Nigel Farage playing a 2p machine in Clacton-on-Sea while on the General Election campaign trail
Nigel Farage playing a 2p machine in Clacton-on-Sea while on the General Election campaign trail (Joe Giddens/PA)

Mr Fry, from neighbouring Kirby Cross, said: “Farage speaks sense. I understand what he’s saying.

“I completely agree with him on his policies. What things are there not to vote for?

“Over the last four years, we’ve been told that the government wants to reduce immigration to the tens of thousands.

“But the numbers haven’t come down. That’s a massive failure, we did not vote for that, we cannot keep up with it.

“It’s having a massive effect. It’s not our country any more.”

June Rickwood, 78, will also be backing Mr Farage despite voting for the Conservatives in 2019.

The retired retail worker said: “I was disappointed by Boris Johnson.

“I’ll have to (vote for Farage) because the others aren’t much good for working people.”

Ms Rickwood said she is from a “Labour family” and has voted for the party at every election since 2010, but will not be backing Sir Keir Starmer’s party because he is an atheist and she is a Catholic.

Zak Gore, 22, said he was atypical for his generation in liking Reform UK.

The father of one, who works for Mercedes, said: “I like him, he’s for the working people.

“I’m pretty old school because I was raised by my grandparents.

“I would rather follow in their footsteps.

“The fact that he wants to put background checks on people coming into the country is good.

“We need someone to stand up for the country.

“We need something different.”

Anne and Tony Grant voted Remain in the 2016 EU referendum and were sceptical about Mr Farage’s campaign in Clacton.

Mrs Grant, 64, said: “I will not be voting for Farage.

“This is a poor area.

“Why is he coming down here?

“Using us poor people and exaggerating things so people have hope, so people cannot see the truth.”

Her husband, a 68-year-old retired boxing coach, interrupted to say: “He thinks he’s a comedian.”