WATCH: UK's Reform Party leader hit by milkshake from mystery woman during Clacton campaign

Britain's Reform UK's parliamentary candidate appears unharmed as he was led away by security

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Reuters
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Web Desk
A person throws a drink in the face of Britain's Reform UK leader, and the party's parliamentary candidate for Clacton, Nigel Farage, during his general election campaign launch in Clacton-on-Sea, eastern England, on June 4, 2024. — AFP

LONDON: Nigel Farage, the new leader of Britain's right-wing Reform Party and a thorn in the side of the governing Conservatives, was doused with a soft drink on Tuesday during his first full day of campaigning for a seat in parliament in the July 4 election.

On Monday, Farage produced the biggest shock of the campaign so far by announcing he would head Reform and run in the election, a major blow to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, whose Conservative Party trails Labour badly in surveys.

Farage is best known for having helped lead a successful campaign in 2016 for Britain to leave the European Union, and his popularity has put pressure on a succession of Conservative prime ministers to take tougher positions on immigration.

Shortly after launching his campaign for election in the seat of Clacton-on-Sea, southeast England, Farage was approached by a woman who threw a large cup of soft drink over him as he left a pub, footage posted on social media showed.

He appeared unharmed as he was led away by security.

Britain's Reform UK leader, 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. — AFP

Some media reports suggested that two people have been arrested after Farage had what appears to be a milkshake thrown over him in Clacton during the first day of the election campaign in the Essex Town.

Richard Tice, the chairman of Reform, called the attacker a "juvenile moron", saying his party would not be bullied off the campaign trail and the incident would help it win hundreds of thousands more votes.

Local police said they had arrested a 25-year-old woman on suspicion of assault.

Interior minister James Cleverly condemned the incident as unacceptable.

A former commodities trader who is often pictured with a cigarette and pint of beer in hand, Farage has for three decades been the figurehead of euroscepticism in Britain, and is no stranger to controversy.

Charismatic and divisive, he has in the past made comments that his political opponents have called racist. During the Brexit campaign, Farage appeared in front of a poster showing lines of migrants under the slogan "Breaking Point"; last month he said Muslims did not share British values.

He was previously doused in milkshake in 2019 while campaigning for the Brexit Party, Reform's predecessor, in Newcastle before a European Parliament election.

On that occasion, his attacker was ordered to pay for his suit to be cleaned after pleading guilty to common assault and criminal damage.