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There’s no evidence that Farage being hit by a milkshake was an inside job

Reform UK leader Nigel Farage was doused with a banana milkshake after leaving a pub in Clacton-on-Sea on Tuesday afternoon, as he launched his eighth campaign for a parliamentary seat.

A 25-year-old woman, from Clacton, was arrested at the scene on suspicion of assault in relation to the incident, which was captured by press photographers.

As images circulated online, the suspect was falsely identified as a House of Commons press officer, while some social media users suggested the controversy was staged by Reform.

Who is the suspect?

The woman involved in the drink-throwing incident has been identified as Victoria Thomas-Bowen.

Admitting her involvement, the 25-year-old told the BBC she tossed the milkshake at Mr Farage because she “just felt like it”.

“He doesn’t stand for me”, Ms Thomas-Bowen, an OnlyFans model from Grays, added. “He doesn’t represent anything I believe in, or any of the people around here. He doesn’t represent us, he’s not from here.”

MailOnline spoke to the mother-of-one’s brother, a self-described Brexit voter who lives in nearby Jaywick.

“I have just seen it, and to be honest, I’m appalled,” he said. “I don’t know where she is. I don’t want anything to do with her.”

Newly appointed leader of Britain's right-wing populist party, Reform UK, and the party's parliamentary candidate for Clacton, Nigel Farage reacts as he is hit in the face by the contents of a drinks cup, during his general election campaign launch in Clacton-on-Sea, eastern England, on June 4, 2024. Nigel Farage on Monday said he would stand as a candidate for the anti-immigration Reform UK party in Britain's general election next month, after initially ruling out running. "I have changed my mind... I am going to stand," Farage, 60, told a news conference. He will seek election on July 4 in the fiercely pro-Brexit seat of Clacton, southeast England. (Photo by Ben Stansall / AFP) (Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)
Newly appointed leader of Britain’s right-wing populist party, Reform UK, and the party’s parliamentary candidate for Clacton, Nigel Farage reacts as he is hit in the face by the contents of a drinks cup, during his general election campaign launch in Clacton-on-Sea (Photo: Ben Stansall / AFP)

Mr Farage was targeted as he left the Moon and Starfish pub – part of the JD Wetherspoon pub chain run by well-known Brexiteer Tim Martin – where he had been speaking to reporters after holding a rally at Clacton Pier.

The 60-year-old, who has been the target of “milkshaking” incidents before, was seen with the yellow drink splattered across his dark blue suit as he boarded his campaign bus.

Soon after, he posted a video on X (formerly Twitter) poking fun at the incident, holding a McDonald’s drink and saying “my milkshake brings all the people to the rally” – a reference to Kelis’ 2003 song Milkshake.

A 25-year-old woman, from Clacton, was arrested at the scene on suspicion of assault, Essex Police said.

While officers were detaining the suspect, a man was arrested on suspicion of assaulting an emergency worker, the force added.

They both remain in custody for questioning.

Mr Farage had a £5.25 Five Guys banana and salted caramel milkshake thrown at him in 2019 during a campaign walkabout in Newcastle.

Culprit Paul Crowther was ordered by a court to pay compensation to Mr Farage following the act.

He admitted assault and criminal damage to a £239 lapel microphone on Mr Farage’s suit.

“Milkshaking” – the act of dousing public figures in milkshake – was officially recognised by Collins Dictionary the same year.

Parliamentary staffer falsely identified

As pictures of the incident went viral, a Conservative media personality was falsely identified as the milkshake-thrower.

Social media users claimed the assailant was Emily Hewertson, 24, a Brexit-supporting influencer with a prominent online profile, sharing images of her alongside the suspect.

Further unsubstantiated posts claimed that the incident had been “planned and staged” to generate sympathy for Reform UK.

Ms Hewertson, who has made appearances on TalkRadio, Times Radio, the BBC, Sky News and CNN, addressed the accusations directly, posting on X: “No, I did not throw a milkshake over Nigel Farage.”

There has been no suggestion from Essex Police that the incident was manufactured.

Home Secretary James Cleverly led the condemnation of the incident, describing it as “unacceptable”.

He said: “The assault on Nigel Farage is unacceptable, just as it would be for any candidate.

“There is no excuse to resort to behaviour like this. We may disagree, but we debate, and then we vote. That’s democracy.”

The Conservative candidate for Clacton, Giles Watling, who Farage is bidding to oust by overturning a massive 24,702 majority, said he was sorry to hear that he had a drink thrown at him.

“We may disagree, but every candidate has the right to campaign without fear of violence or intimidation,” Mr Watling said.

ConservativeHome founder Tim Montgomerie said the woman should be “properly punished”.

Writing on X, he continued: “MPs and candidates deserve much more protection in the era when both Jo Cox and David Amess were murdered.”

Labour’s Yvette Cooper also branded the incident “completely unacceptable”, adding: “No one should face intimidation or assault in an election campaign.”

Richard Tice, the previous Reform UK leader, who was walking behind Mr Farage when he was struck, said: “The juvenile moron who threw a drink over Nigel has just gained us hundreds of thousands more votes.

“We will not be bullied or threatened off the campaign trail.”

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