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Brexit Party leader Farage loses UK radio show after statue row

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London (AFP)

Leading British eurosceptic Nigel Farage lost his radio show contract on Thursday, just days after he compared the toppling of a slave trader's statue to the actions of the Taliban.

Anti-racism protesters in the English port of Bristol took down a statue of 17th century African slave trader Edward Colston and threw it in the harbour on Saturday.

Debate is now raging about other monuments and buildings honouring historical figures with ties to the less glorious moments of Britain's colonial past.

Farage, the former UKIP and Brexit Party leader, triggered a backlash by likening the protesters to the Taliban when they blew up ancient Buddha statues in Afghanistan in 2001.

"The Taliban love to blow up and destroy historical monuments from a different time, that they don't agree with," he told ITV television.

"What we saw on the weekend was the most appalling example of mob rule."

LBC radio said on Twitter that its contract with Farage was "up very shortly and, following discussions with him, Nigel is stepping down from LBC with immediate effect.

"We thank Nigel for the enormous contribution he has made to LBC and wish him well," the station said.

The former commodities broker, 56, did not immediately comment.

But he tweeted a video clip of an apparent attempt to prevent two police officers making an arrest, saying it had been "directly caused by hatred for the police".

Last month he revealed police warned him about non-essential travel during the coronavirus lockdown for travelling to Dover to speak about the "illegal migrant scandal".

Farage's Brexit Party finished first in European Parliament elections last year by pushing for the single issue of getting Britain out of the European Union.

The group's support dropped off sharply once Britain struck a divorce agreement with Brussels that enabled it to leave the bloc on January 31.

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