UK

Man Arrested and Charged with Assault After Throwing Milkshake at Politician

By Zachary Stieber

A 32-year-old man was arrested and charged with assault after hurling a milkshake at a prominent conservative politician.

The situation unfolded on May 20 in the United Kingdom.

Paul Crowther was arrested after police said he hurled a banana salted caramel shake at Nigel Farage, the leader of the Brexit Party, while Farage was in Newcastle for a campaign event.

Pictures of Crowther being arrested showed a middle-aged white man with a beard and glasses, while another picture showed an empty milkshake cup from Five Guys. Crowther’s mugshot has not been released publicly.

Northumbria Police said on May 21 that Crowther, a Throckley resident, was charged with common assault and criminal damage. He is slated to appear in court on June 18.

According to The Sun, Crowther’s social media feeds show an obsession with politics and fervent support of the Remain campaign, which opposes the Brexit Party. While the Brexit Party would like to exit the European Union following the 2016 referendum vote to do so, the Remain campaign seeks to keep the country in the union.

Crowther also posted pictures on Facebook and Twitter of the milkshake before admitting he committed the assault.

“When you’re walking back to the office with your milkshake and you bump into a Brexit Party march…” he wrote. “I [expletive] did it, it was Farage. I can’t believe I did it.”

In a previous post, sharing an article about a milkshake thrown at UKIP candidate Carl Benjamin, Crowther wrote, “Fascist, misogynist [expletive] deserve all the dairy-based products that come sailing their way.”

Speaking at the scene of the crime, Crowther said that Farage’s “bile and racism” was his motivation for the assault, reported Birmingham Live. “I didn’t know he was in town, I thought, ‘This is my only chance.'”

Farage, appearing at a rally later on Monday, told the crowd: “I won’t even acknowledge the low-grade behavior that I was subjected to this morning, I won’t dignify it, I will ignore it. Perhaps keep buying new clothes and carry on.”

“For a civilized democratic nation to function in democracy, the loser has to give their consent. The loser has to accept they’ve lost the election and do their best to win the next election. That is how our system works,” he added.

Media Cheers Assault

Journalists in the United Kingdom and elsewhere have cheered the people hurling milkshakes, with some claiming that they weren’t committing assault despite the arrest and charge of one of the assailants. The reactions were compiled by independent journalist Nick Monroe.

Amitai Winehouse, a Daily Mail sports writer, said on Twitter that people condemning the attack were “hand-wringing centrist[s].”

“If you can’t throw a milkshake at Nigel Farage, Tommy Robinson, or [Carl Benjamin], then who can you throw one at?” hew wrote. “What a loss it would be to public discourse.”

Sarah Hagi, a Canadian writer, said that she hoped “Canadians are brave enough to throw milkshakes on [expletive] politicians/fascists this upcoming election.”

John Elledge, an assistant editor at the New Statesman, wrote that “the idea that throwing a milkshake is violence but inciting hate against minority groups isn’t is responsible for a decent-sized chunk of all the world’s political problems.”

Philip O’Connor, a multimedia journalist, added: “The pearl-clutching over a shadily-funded fascist getting hit with a milkshake has the added benefit of helping me cull people I follow. This is a great day for democracy, milk, and ice cream.”

BBC Radio presenter and writer Alix Fox also chimed in, writing, “It’s almost a shame these milkshake-drenched fascists aren’t lactose intolerant, especially when they’re miserably intolerant of so much else.”

Tom Peck, a political writer for The Independent, even went on “Good Morning Britain” to claim that what happened was funny and it would still be funny if it had happened to a woman.