Nigel Farage puts forward his viewpoint on LBC radio [Image: LBC, published on the Independent’s website].

This is genuinely sickening.

You may be aware that 12 people have died, and 48 were injured, when a lorry was driven into a Christmas market in Berlin in what is believed to have been a terrorist attack. A man, believed to be an immigrant into Germany from Pakistan, has been arrested.

Here’s Mr Farage’s comment:

It inevitably provoked a backlash on Twitter – as Mr Farage undoubtedly hoped. Most prominent among his detractors was Brendan Cox, who tweeted this:

Farage’s response – on LBC radio – defies belief:

“He would know more about extremists than me.”

Brendan Cox is, of course, the widower of Jo Cox – who was murdered by an extremist in the run-up to the EU referendum earlier this year.

It was a referendum nobody wanted other than a few Tory backbenchers who had threatened to oppose David Cameron on his legislative programme if he didn’t organise it.

But – thanks to the efforts of Mr Farage and some extremely compliant national news media – the issue very quickly set neighbour against neighbour as opinions polarised.

And then Mrs Cox died.

Mr Cox’s tweet may be interpreted as a warning that Mr Farage was victim-blaming Mrs Merkel for the Berlin incident – and, by extension, blaming his late wife for her own murder.

But that sailed right over Mr Farage’s head, because he wanted to make a petty point about an organisation Mr Cox supports – Hope Not Hate.

He said the organisation, and those like it, “masquerade as being lovely and peaceful but actually pursue violent and very undemocratic means”.

Do you think it is just a coincidence that Hope Not Hate has a history of opposition to UKIP, which organisers regard as a hate-spreading, extremist political party.

Hope Not Hate has responded to Mr Farage’s accusations with the following statement: “We are aware of a serious and potentially libellous statement made about HOPE not hate by Nigel Farage on LBC radio this morning. We have no idea on what Mr Farage bases his outrageous comments. HOPE not hate has a proud history of campaigning against extremism and hatred. We will not be making any further comment until we have had the opportunity to consult with our lawyers.”

The following appears to be a more straightforward response from Mr Cox:

(You may have to visit YouTube to watch the clip).

Feel free to consider how you would respond – if, for example, you were unlucky enough to meet Mr Farage on the street.

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