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Police in the UK are investigating comedian Jo Brand over 'battery acid' joke on BBC radio show

Brand make a joke about throwing battery acid at “unpleasant characters” rather than milkshakes.

Image: PA Wire/PA Images

Updated Jun 13th 2019, 5:30 PM

THE MET POLICE in the UK said it is investigating comments made by comedian Jo Brand and broadcast on the BBC which suggested throwing battery acid at politicians. 

On BBC Radio 4′s Heresy show on Tuesday, Brand make a joke about throwing battery acid at “unpleasant characters” rather than milkshakes. 

Her comments came after a protestor threw a milkshake over Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage while he was out campaigning last month. 

Speaking on the radio show, Brand said: “Why bother with a milkshake when you could get some battery acid?”

The comedian then clarified her comments, adding: “That’s just me. I’m not going to do it, it’s purely a fantasy, but I think milkshakes are pathetic, I honestly do, sorry.” 

In a statement, Metropolitan Police said “Police have received an allegation of incitement to violence that was reported to the MPs on 13 June.

“The allegation relates to comments made on a radio programme. The allegation is currently being assessed.

“There have been no arrests and inquiries are ongoing.”

British Prime Minister Theresa May called on the BBC to explain why the joke was allowed to be broadcast on one of its radio shows. 

May has now stepped into the controversy and has condemned the comments. 

“The prime minister has consistently said politicians should be able to campaign without harassment, intimidation and abuse. It is for the BBC to explain why it was appropriate content to broadcast,” May’s spokesperson said, Sky News has reported. 

However, the BBC has defended Brand. 

In a statement, the BBC said it was “not intended to be taken seriously”.

“Heresy is a long-running comedy programme where, as the title implies and as our listeners know, panellists often say things which are deliberately provocative,” it said.

At the end of the show, the BBC reported, host Victoria Coren Mitchell said she hoped Brand’s remarks had not caused offence, adding that the long-running series had been set up to “test the boundaries of what it’s OK to say and not say”.

Following the show, Farage tweeted that the comments were an “incitement of violence”, adding that the police “need to act”.

Coran Mitchell later replied to Farage’s tweet, saying that she is “genuinely disappointed”. 

“We don’t agree on everything, but I would totally have had you down as a free speech man. Especially when it comes to jokes,” she said. 

With reporting from Conor McCrave.

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