Nigel Farage interrupted by protesters during vaccine debate
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BBC Radio 4’s Any Questions was disrupted by protesters outside of Reading Minster as the panel tried to answer a question regarding tennis star Novak Djokovic and his clash with Australian border forces. GB News presenter Nigel Farage was invited to answer first but protesters could be heard shouting to disrupt proceedings. Presenter Chris Mason was forced to apologise for the disruption which went on for nearly 10 minutes before stopping.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Any Question, an audience member by the name of Rob asked: “Is it time to make life unbearable for the unvaccinated, even if they are an international sports star.”
Mr Farage called the Djokovic story “extraordinary” and believed the tennis player would not have gotten on the plane if he did not think he would get into Australia.
The former Brexit Party leader added it should be down to people’s individual choice whether or not to have the vaccine and said he was making his own mind on whether or not to get the booster jab.
But as Mr Farage continued, shouting could be heard in the background which could not be clearly made out on the microphones.
The GB News presenter continued: “The way that Europe, Australia and the rest of the world are treating the unvaccinated is frankly outrageous.
“It would have been unthinkable a couple of years ago.”
As Mr Farage wound up his answer, host Chris Mason said: “We have one or two protesters outside the Minster here, hopefully, you can still our conversations clearly.”
Labour MP Tan Dhesi joked they were “adding to the atmosphere” and it was good to “have music on in the background”.
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He added Australia has its own rules which are in place to protect its own borders.
Joining Mr Farage was Mr Dhesi, SNP’s Joanna Cherry and Policing Secretary Kit Malthouse.
Mr Djokovic was denied access to Australia on Wednesday after Australian Border Force said he “failed to provide appropriate evidence” of his coronavirus status to give him entry.
Victoria State has mandated full vaccination for all players, staff and fans attending the Australian Open unless there is a medical exemption given.
But Mr Djokovic said he has been given medical exemption and is challenging the decision to cancel his visa.
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An Australian court will decide whether he will be deported on Monday.
The Serbian athlete said he was given a medical exemption to play in the tournament and has challenged the decision to cancel his visa.
His exemption was given by two medical panels which were organised by Tennis Australia and Victoria state.
Mr Djokovic wrote to his fans on Instagram: “Thank you to people around the world for your continuous support. I can feel it and it is greatly appreciated.”
Questions have been raised over Mr Djokovic’s vaccination status after he previously came out to attack mandated vaccines.
He said: “My issue here with vaccines is if someone is forcing me to put something in my body. That I don’t want. For me that’s unacceptable.”
Tennis Australia said Mr Djokovic’s exemption request was given following a “rigorous review process” although the reason he sought an exemption has not been made public.
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