Polish 'prince' challenges UKIP leader to duel before UK vote

13th April 2015, Comments 0 comments

A man claiming to be a Polish prince on Monday challenged the leader of Britain's anti-immigration UK Independence Party to a sword duel in London's Hyde Park ahead of next month's general election.

Brandishing a sabre, Yanek Zylinski laid down the gauntlet to Nigel Farage in a Youtube video, saying he had "had enough of discrimination against Polish people" and that he would fight in "defence of my people in this country".

"Enough is enough, Mr Farage," he added. "I'm offering a duel."

London-based Zylinski, who said his father led a cavalry charge against the Germans in 1939, said that if Farage was against the idea, or if his "sword was a bit rusty" that they could instead engage in a televised verbal joust.

Farage, who was campaigning in Essex, east of London, turned down the offer.

"It is an impressive sword," he said. "I don't have one but I'm sure we could find one if we had to. But I'm not intending to accept the offer."

"I would have thought that a Polish prince with a long Polish lineage would rather agree with me that it's a complete tragedy for Poland that it's lost so many of its brightest and best young people," added Farage.

During his walkabout, Farage met Ivan Loncsarevity, 62, a Hungarian factory worker

- 'Change the political rhetoric' -

Asked whether Loncsarevity should be working in the UK, Farage said: "UKIP has never said anyone should leave the country, so the question is entirely baseless.

"If there's no British person trained to do that job, then that says more about us than them."

Meanwhile, hundreds of posters featuring immigrants in key everyday jobs appeared around Britain on Monday as part of a crowd-funded campaign ahead of the May 7 vote.

Britain's leading parties have recently taken a tougher line on immigration, reflecting voters' deep concerns over the issue and the rising popularity of UKIP.

The Movement Against Xenophobia group secured over £54,000 ($79,000, 74,700 euros) through capital raising website Crowdfunder, and hopes to use the money to "change the political rhetoric" through the poster campaign across Britain's transport networks.

Each poster features one of 15 migrants in occupations ranging from firefighter to union leader, barrister and nurse underneath the heading "I am an immigrant."

"We want to show migrants are part of the fabric of British society," explained campaigner Saira Grant, legal and policy director with the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JWCI).

"Imagine the impact of these posters for two to three weeks before the general election, showing the contribution migrants make to everyday life.

"This campaign will really change the political rhetoric and negative imagery," she added.

Fellow campaigner Habib Rahman, chief executive of JWCI, said the campaign was intended to counter "the tabloid media and irresponsible politicians" who "have been depicting migrants in a negative light."

The posters will appear at 300 locations within London's Underground train system and at 550 sites on the national rail network, used by over 11 million people every day.

© 2015 AFP

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