Nigel Farage returns to campaign trail hours after being accused of walking away from a car crash

Nigel Farage has today joined a growing list of politicians to suffer a food fail as he awkwardly scoffed a fruit loaf while out campaigning in Sunderland.

The former UKIP leader was pictured gurning horribly with his mouth wide open as he bit into the slice of cake.

Another snap showed the Brexiteer’s tongue dangling from his mouth as he finished off the baked treat before washing it down with a cup of tea.  

Farage is in the pro-Leave city kick-starting a Brexit Party rally after a week of controversy that saw him accused of fleeing the scene of a car crash.

He told his supporters today Theresa May’s Brexit deal is ‘like a surrender document of a nation that has been defeated in war’.

It comes ahead of the European elections on May 23, in which the Brexit Party is hoping to capitalise on any loss of faith in the mainstream political parties.

Mr Farage joins the likes of Ed Miliband, Theresa May and David Cameron to be caught awkwardly tucking into food during a campaign trail.

Mrs May looked decidedly uncomfortable as she tried to work out how to eat a bag of chips with cameras trained on her in Cornwall during the run-up to the 2017 General Election. 

The tricky moment was reminiscent of Ed Miliband’s ‘bacon sandwich’ moment from 2014, when photographers capture him pulling a hilarious face while tucking into breakfast in the run-up to local elections. 

David Cameron was also mocked in 2015 when he used a knife and fork to eat a hot dog during a campaign event – in an apparent effort to avoid falling into the same trap as Mr Miliband. He was forced to deny his style of eating showed he was posh. 

Farage is due to meet with former Tory MP Ann Widdecombe and they are set to speak at a party event at the 2000-seat Rainton Meadows Arena in Houghton this afternoon.

It comes after Mr Farage was accused of walking away from a car crash involving a 13-month-old boy on Thursday.

Mr Farage and Ms Widdecombe, who is standing in the European elections this month, were also joined by Brexit Party chairman Richard Tice and other election hopefuls from the North East including Brian Monteith, John Tennant and Richard Monaghan.

In March, Mr Farage, 55, led a crowd of 200 Brexit supporters on a 270-mile march from Sunderland to London and arrived in Parliament Square on March 29 – the day Britain was scheduled to leave the EU. 

Mr Farage was cheered by hundreds of people at the rally today in Houghton-le-Spring – which was also showed a preview of the party’s new election broadcast.

Mr Farage lambasted both the Tory government and the Labour leadership but made no mention of reports he left the scene of a collision between his chauffeur-driven car and another vehicle in Kent on Thursday.

Mr Farage said: ‘It (Brexit) hasn’t happened partly because of the dishonest, duplicitous and utterly useless Prime Minister in Theresa May.

‘No question, she is the worst Prime Minister in the history of this country, bar none.’

He told the rally Mrs May’s deal would be a new EU treaty.

‘A treaty that will cost us, for reasons I’ve yet to understand, £39 billion,’ he said.

‘A treaty that may well leave us trapped inside the EU’s custom union in perpetuity.

‘This treaty that she wants to put through is more like a surrender document of a nation that has been defeated in war.’

Mr Farage said: ‘She has humiliated our country on the international stage and I’ve had enough of it. ‘

He told the North East audience they had also been betrayed by the ‘London led Labour party’ and local MPs.

He said: ‘Those MPs look down upon you, they think you’re morons, they tell you you didn’t know what you voted for.

‘Can I say on your behalf, and on behalf of leavers across all of the United Kingdom, to hell with you, we knew what we were voting for.’

Former Tory minister Ann Widdecombe was cheered in the packed hall when she decried ‘those patronising, snooty nincompoops who sit in their dinner parties and say ‘poor dears, they didn’t know what they were voting for’.

She said: ‘We knew exactly what we were voting for.’

Ms Widdecombe said: ‘The message of those local elections and the message of these European elections is really simply. Either those at Westminster let Britain leave or we make them leave.’

She said: ‘If they don’t take us out of the EU then, come the next general election, the Brexit Party will take over Westminster and take us out of the EU.’     

Party chairman Mr Tice told the Sunderland Echo: ‘We are expecting a huge crowd on Saturday because it was a very strong Leave-voting area and of course we started the March to Leave in Sunderland.

‘In the North East there is a huge number of people who feel betrayed by the Labour Party and we’ve seen from the local elections that voters are now looking elsewhere.

‘Our party plans to take on the establishment which has failed to deliver Brexit.’

He added: ‘Instead we have all sorts of backroom deals going on between Labour and the Consevatives and it seems like the majority of candidates are Remain.’

The event, which starts at 2pm, will see six speakers including Mr Farage and Ms Widdecombe as well as the local candidates.

It comes at the end of a controversial week for Mr Farage, where he was accused of walking away from a car crash involving a 13-month-old boy, as well as becoming embroiled in a row over his numerous appearances on the BBC.

It emerged last night that Mr Farage allegedly ‘upped and left’ after his chauffeur-driven Range Rover crashed into a Jaguar carrying a father and his son on Thursday morning.

Pub landlord Patrick Tranter, 38, and son George both went to hospital to receive treatment. 

Mr Tranter told The Sun: ‘He lives two miles away and loves a pint, but he won’t get one from me. Man of the people, my arse.

‘As far as I’m concerned he’s barred.’

But Mr Farage last night denied the allegations, claiming he checked nobody was hurt, before adding: ‘If I’m banned, then it’s not too terrible is it?’

Mr Tranter, who has been visited by Mr Farage at the George and Dragon pub in Westerham, Kent in the past, had dropped his wife at the station and was driving home when the two cars collided in Titsey.

Mr Tranter, whose 1986 Jaguar Series 3 Sovereign was written off, added: ‘We crashed with an enormous bang. Farage could not possibly have failed to hear George screaming. I ran out to see if my little boy was OK.

‘Farage stepped out of the Range Rover, collected his bag from the boot and walked off.

‘He didn’t have the common decency to see if we were OK, and never even looked back.’

But Mr Farage hit back last night, saying: ‘The driver of the other car was abusive. He was swearing very loudly and after accidents people do all sorts of things. It was a pretty full-on smash and I understand why people can be a bit shocked.

‘Once I had ascertained that everyone was OK I made a discreet withdrawal from the situation.

‘Had anybody been hurt I would have stayed and waited for the ambulance. I didn’t hear his child screaming so I walked up the road.’   

A Brexit Party spokesman added: ‘The car was in a non-fault accident. Nigel wasn’t driving it. Nigel continued his journey in a different car.

‘The driver did remain at the scene. The police did attend and details were exchanged. It was a minor shunt.’  

The Brexiteer was also dragged into a war of words over the pulling of last night’s Have I Got News For You.

The show was postponed just minutes before it was due to air over fears it would breach election impartiality rules by having Change UK leader Heidi Allen as a guest.

BBC editorial guidelines around election periods do not allow programmes where ‘equal representation’ is not achieved.

The BBC said the episode will be broadcast ‘at a later date’. 

Ms Allen, who left the Conservative Party earlier this year to join pro-Remain Change UK, called for an explanation from the BBC.

She tweeted: ‘Maybe I’m just not as funny as Nigel Farage eh #hignfy @haveigotnews!?

‘He’s so funny, he seems to be on the BBC all the time! An explanation would be appreciated, not least to acknowledge the hard work of the entire crew who worked diligently to put the show together.’

Many social media users voiced their concerns that the BBC had featured Mr Farage on Question Time earlier this week, with some calling it an ‘interesting decision’ and others saying it is the ‘rankest hypocrisy’.

One social media user posted: ‘Has anybody told #Ofcom about Nigel Farage’s revolving door to #BBCQT?’ 

A BBC spokesman told MailOnline: ‘The BBC has specific editorial guidelines that apply during election periods.  

‘Because of this it would be inappropriate to feature political party leaders on entertainment programmes during this short election period, which does not allow for equal representation to be achieved. 

‘So we will not broadcast the scheduled episode of HIGNFY featuring Heidi Allen, leader of Change UK. We will look to broadcast this episode at a later date.’ 

When asked over the difference between Ms Allen’s appearance on HIGNFY and Mr Farage’s on Question Time, the spokesperson added: ‘The statement refers to appearance during entertainment programmes during this short election period, which does not allow for equal representation to be achieved.

‘Question Time is a political debate programme, which has representatives from various different political parties.’ 

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