Farage plane crashes as UKIP banner gets snagged
Farage’s bitter election battle with Speaker Bercow reaches a thrilling climax as plane is brought down
The UK Independence Party MEP Nigel Farage, who memorably stood up in the European parliament and told the EU president Herman Von Rompuy he had "the charisma of a damp rag", has been taken to hospital in Banbury after his plane crashed in Northamptonshire this morning.
Ominously, UKIP's aircraft was brought down by its own message 'Vote for your country. Vote UKIP' - emblazoned on a giant banner. "We've had unconfirmed reports that either the banner got snagged up, or there were cross-winds and it was unfamiliar airfield to the pilot," said a UKIP spokesman.
Either way, Farage's enemies are loving the notion that he has been "hoist by his own petard".
As for Von Rompuy, he is one of two prominent politicians who is unlikely to be sending Farage a "get well soon" card. The other is the Conservative House of Commons Speaker John Bercow.
This is because Farage is fighting for election in Bercow's seat of Buckingham - despite a convention that other parties never put up candidates against the Speaker. It has turned to be one the most bitterly fought seats in today's election, with well-known Tories supporting Farage against Bercow, who is widely disliked in the Conservative party.
Appropriately enough considering UKIP's somewhat traditional vision of Britain Farage's aircraft was reported to be a "1960s-style biplane". Disaster struck a few seconds after take-off at 8am when the plane banked and plummeted, hitting the ground upside down.
While the pilot suffered back injuries, Farage is said to have walked away from the crash with only cuts to his face and was taken to hospital as a formality. Supporters of Bercow, and others who see the UKIP man as little more than a buffoon, will be hoping the incident does not bring him any kind of sympathy vote. ·
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