As details begin to emerge regarding the identities of those involved in the Berlin Christmas market attack which left at least 12 people dead, Nigel Farage has been quick off the mark to level the blame at Angela Merkel for her immigration policy. The former Ukip leader announced on Twitter that the ‘terrible news’ had come as ‘no surprise’ because ‘events like these will be the Merkel legacy’.
This has led to much outrage with Brendan Cox, the husband of the late Jo Cox, warning him against blaming politicians for the acts of extremists — describing it as ‘a slippery slope’. However, with a migrant — who denies carrying out the attack — now detained, Farage is not backing down. During an appearance on LBC, he said it was ‘time people started to take responsibility for what has happened’:
‘Mrs Merkel has directly caused a whole number of social and terror problems in Germany. It’s time we confronted that truth.’
After Merkel allowed over a million refugees sanctuary in Germany, her popularity ratings have been hit — while support for the AfD — the anti-immigration party — has risen. Yesterday’s attack will only heap further pressure on her to address people’s concerns and anxieties, with prominent AfD party member Marcus Pretzell describing the victims as ‘Merkel’s dead’.
It follows that Farage is not a lone voice in suggesting some responsibility lies with Merkel. However, the incident underlines the argument why so many people are opposed to the idea of Farage ever being given a diplomatic role (as he has suggested with regards to Donald Trump). Comments like today’s would cause a much bigger problem were Farage representing the government.