By Meenakshi Iyer
Former Brexit leader and GB News host Nigel Farage has been slammed for 'insulting' coverage of a TikTok video showing Sikh people in a small boat crossing what the broadcaster claimed was the English Channel.
The Indian Council of Scotland and the UK has sought a public apology from GB News for running the story with the headline "WTF...Sikh-ing Asylum" on the screen.
"We have written to GB News and look forward to a public apology. If no public apology is given then we shall go to the regulator," the Council said.
Sharing a clip of the news coverage, the Indian diaspora organisation also took a strong offence to Farage making fun of the people in the video.
"You've been used in the past to the Albanians, this is a boat full of Sikhs. Yes, they're all coming from India. What a good day out they're having," Farage was heard saying on GB News.
The former UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader further said: "Basically, it doesn't matter where you come from in the world, it doesn't matter whether you've got a legitimate claim to be a genuine refugee or not, it's come on down, cross the English Channel, pay a trafficker and you will be allowed to stay."
The Council said in a statement that 'racial slur' against any community is unacceptable.
"We stand in solidarity with the Sikh community with regards to the wrong done by GB News/Nigel Farage. No community/faith or culture should be insulted in this way."
"We at the Indian Council of Scotland and the UK are against Illegal immigration, however it is not acceptable for racial slur against the Sikh community or any community," it added.
In 2013, Farage's then PR Manager Gawain Towler, had referred to British-born Sikh journalist Kiran Randhawa as "some form of ethnic extraction".
Nimco Ali, who stepped down as government's adviser on tackling violence against women last year, accused Home Secretary Suella Braverman of "feeding into Nigel Farage stuff", after she sparked off an outrage by comparing the migrant crisis in the country to "invasion".
Farage had heaped praises on the Sikh community for helping during the 2013-14 Somerset floods.
"I remember the Sikhs helping during the Somerset floods, what a great community," Farage had tweeted in 2020.
He concluded his report on the GB News by attacking the ruling Conservatives saying that even if they were to get the economy right, the issue of illegal immigration alone could cost them the next general election.
More than 45,000 people crossed the Channel to the UK in small boats over the past year, according to government figures, with 90 crossing on Christmas Day alone.