Man charged after UKIP leader Nigel Farage hit over head with placard by protester at Walpole Bay Hotel in Cliftonville
A Thanet man has been charged and released on bail following an assault on UKIP party leader Nigel Farage with a placard.
Andrew Scott, 37, from Ramsgate Road, Margate, was charged with assault by beating, after Mr Farage was allegedly attacked as he entered a hotel in Cliftonville at around 3pm yesterday.
Unemployed Scott was released on conditional bail, to appear at Margate Magistrates' Court on March 3.
UKIP leader Nigel Farage is hit over the head in Cliftonville. Picture: ITV Meridian
As a condition to his bail he must not attend any political event of any political party, either in protest or support of the party in question.
It comes after the South East MEP was struck by an angry protester outside the Walpole Bay Hotel, in Cliftonville, where he was meeting supporters.
Mr Farage was greeted by a jeering mob as he arrived in the town.
The 49-year-old looked visibly shaken after being struck over the head as minders tried to clear a path while dozens of campaigners screamed in his face, pushed and shoved him.
A police officer then helped to usher the controversial politician up steps into the hotel, along with four supporters, as protesters continued to chant abuse.
Mr Farage was not injured by the placard.
Asked if he thought such protests would become the norm, Mr Farage later told ITV Meridian: "Well I hope not. It happened in Edinburgh and this was worse than Edinburgh.
"People intended to physically hurt me, but it is not going to stop me."
Protesters clash with Nigel Farage in Cliftonville
Placards bearing the words Nasty Little Nigel were among those to greet Mr Farage's visit to the town.
About 40 protesters gathered outside the hotel, waving placards, chanting and yelling.
Some were there as a general anti-UKIP protest and others were aiming to draw attention to animal welfare issues, including live animal exports and the UKIP stance of bringing back fox hunting.
As UKIP supporters began arriving for the meeting earlier in the afternoon, there were angry exchanges between them and the crowd, with the protesters shouting accusations of racism.
One supporter responded by saying that UKIP was "a realist party".
Police arrive in Fifth Avenue to deal with protesters
Thanet District Council Green councillor Ian Driver was among those protesting.
He said: "It was a very lively reception and a lot of people protesting seemed very angry.
"There were a lot of different groups there, not just those against his stand on immigration. He looked rather frightened as did the police.
"There were 101 reasons to be there today - UKIP's appalling opinions on animal welfare and their plans to bring back hunting are old-fashioned positions to hold.
"UKIP are trying to stir up divisions between people and I think Thanet deserves better than their hatred, divisiveness and scapegoating.
"It's good to see so many people making a stand. A lot of people in Thanet want to make a stand against what he stands for."
Protesters outside the Walpole Bay Hotel for UKIP leader Nigel Farage's visit
Protester Shirley Marchant, from Margate, said: "We don't want UKIP in Margate - it stands for all the wrong reasons and we as a community need to stand against them.
"They are against all austerity and nasty and vicious with it - I'm here to stop it happening."
Animal rights campaigner Mary Hyde also hoped to make her views heard.
She said: "I'm here because of the fact that Nigel Farage does not intend to support eight-hour travel limits for animals being exported and he doesn't want to help us stop this evil trade."
Police are also investigating another assault at the same hotel during the incident, after a man walked into Margate police station to report an attack.
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