How a diplomat, a painter and the London mayor managed to utterly humiliate Nigel Farage

Nigel Farage
Tracy Keeling

A diplomat, a painter and the London mayor have all just managed to utterly humiliate Nigel Farage.

The diplomat in question is the EU’s Brexit coordinator, Guy Verhofstadt. He executed some superb trolling of Nigel Farage over a really unfortunate painting. And as the ex-UKIP leader has recently floated the idea of challenging Sadiq Khan to be London mayor (and the rest of the country are headbutting their desks repeatedly over this and more), it couldn’t come at a better time.

Laughter, they say, is the best medicine.

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Great taste

The Royal Academy of Arts’ 250th Summer Exhibition finished on 19 August. This year it featured a portrait of “Mr Brexit” himself, aka Farage, carrying a price tag of £25,000. Unfortunately for the ex-UKIP leader’s ego, it didn’t sell. In fact, it failed to attract any bids at all.

Verhofstadt caught wind of this sorry tale – a sorry tale for the artist, David Griffiths, at least. And his response on Twitter, given its tens-of-thousands of likes, truly resonated with the general public:

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Oh god

Despite the fact that no-one wanted to hang his xenophobic mug on their wall, Farage just floated the idea of standing for London mayor.

He told the Financial Times that his supporters have told him he should. Of course, just because someone tells you to do something – like jump off a bridge – it doesn’t mean you do it. But Farage would no doubt draw the line at that suggestion anyway. He’s a man of walls, not bridges.

If he does run for mayor, he’ll be standing against Sadiq Khan, London’s first Muslim mayor. Khan is the polar opposite of the ex-UKIP leader in many respects. In contrast to Farage’s vision of ‘little Britain’, Khan embraces diversity. He even seems to be quite jolly about far-right campaigners’ plan to fly a giant balloon of him wearing a bikini on 1 September. Farage wasn’t quite so pleased about people flying a big balloon of ‘baby Trump’ wearing a nappy during a protest in July.

So, there’d be quite a clear choice between the two in an election. Not least because one’s shown himself to be an utter cry baby while the other seems to take criticism in his stride. In a mayoral contest, we’d really see what Londoners are made of. That they voted Boris Johnson in twice doesn’t bode well. But then, people who visited the art gallery in London have left Farage’s portrait to rot.

So, there’s always hope. And failing that, of course, there’s always laughter.

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