Nigel Farage and hundreds of his UKIP supporters roared with laughter – as a comic cracked a string of offensive jokes about foreigners. The party’s leader clapped as Paul Eastwood took swipes at Indians, Muslims and Poles at a gala dinner marking the climax of its spring conference.
Referring to the Olympics, he told guests: “Poland did well. They took home bronze, silver, gold, lead, copper – anything they could get their hands on.” To claps and cheers he went on: “Team Somalia – they did well, didn’t they? They had to apologise. Didn’t realise sailing and shooting were two different events.”
Eastwood then asked: “Any Midlands people here? Wonderful! My favourite accent is a Midlands accent.” He then attempted an impression of an Asian voice. Eastwood chanted an Islamic call to prayer, mocking it as a “traditional Midlands folk song”.
The scenes were witnessed by Sunday Mirror investigators who joined 200 guests at the £35-a-head black-tie feast. The dinner was a chance for delegates, donors and officials to mingle after the day-long conference in Torquay, Devon.
Earlier our reporters were invited to an exclusive boozy bash on a £1million yacht. We listened as a UKIP backer claimed Essex was “full of Arabs”.
The conference highlight for many guests was the boozy dinner where Eastwood cracked his offensive jokes. Despite initially moaning about “bloody political correctness” and claiming: “I’m under strict instructions about what I can and can’t say tonight”, he rattled off a 45-minute routine littered with stereotypes and tasteless gags.
Guests guzzled £39 bottles of Taittinger champagne as the comedian told an old gag about a lazy Slovakian cleaner and a bad-taste joke about a Muslim butcher.
See also “Farage defends jokes about foreigners at Ukip conference”, Daily Telegraph, 2 March 2014
Update: See Ava Vidal, “‘It’s only a joke’: How far is too far in comedy?”, Daily Telegraph, 6 March 2014