Nigel Farage's Oldham comments are as stupid and inaccurate as they are offensive - he should come and visit

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“We aren’t defined by his politics of hate.”

The boss of Oldham council has hit back at the ‘stupid and inaccurate’ comments made by Nigel Farage, after the Reform UK leader said there were streets in the borough ‘where no one speaks English’. 

In an interview with BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Farage defended his claim that British-Muslims ‘do not share British values’ and gave Oldham as an example, saying there were streets where ‘no one’ spoke English. He also claimed towns in the UK had ‘become literally unrecognisable’ as a result of immigrants ‘who don’t integrate into the community’. 

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In response, Labour council leader Arooj Shah said: “Oldham is a town where people support each other, where community is at our heart, and we aren’t defined by his politics of hate. The comments by Nigel Farage about Oldham are as stupid and inaccurate as they are offensive.

Oldham Council leader Arooj ShahOldham Council leader Arooj Shah
Oldham Council leader Arooj Shah | LDRS

“In Oldham we are trying to fight back against 14 years of government cuts to public services, and the cost of living crisis like so many parts of the north.  We have a strong sense of community, great businesses and a shared determination and pride amongst our residents. We will carry on trying to improve things as a council and as a community and will leave these divisive, ignorant political comments to others.’

Coun Shah criticised the politician and broadcaster, who yesterday announced his intention to run as a general election candidate in Conservative-held Clacton, for political posturing. 

Nigel Farage launches his campaign to be an MP for Reform UKNigel Farage launches his campaign to be an MP for Reform UK
Nigel Farage launches his campaign to be an MP for Reform UK

She said: “As Reform and the Conservative Party go to war with each other for a tiny slice of the British electorate, trying to antagonise and provoke hate and division to grab a handful of votes, residents in Oldham and across the UK want answers to the real issues facing people today. 

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“This means addressing the cost of living crisis, the future of the NHS, and the availability of quality affordable homes. ”  

In a statement shared with the LDRS, local councillor and Oldham Group member Kamran Ghafoor described the comments as ‘damaging’. He added: “I would like to invite Nigel Farage to visit Oldham. I will personally show him around to prove his claims are unfounded. 

“The idea that there are streets in Oldham where no one speaks English simply isn’t true. Our town is a shining example of successful multiculturalism, where integration and mutual respect are a part of everyday life.”

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