Farage cat tale snares Theresa May

Farage May

Does Theresa May need a better speech writer?

An attempt by the Home Secretary Theresa May to get a laugh at the Conservative Party Conference by recycling one of Nigel Farage’s old routines has back-fired badly after it emerged the anecdote she repeated was largely untrue.

In July, as part of a national speaking tour to promote his new book Fighting Bullir?t=eastleighnews 21&l=as2&o=2&a=184954039X the Ukip leader  appeared at the Eastleigh Railway Institute and recounted to a full house a tall tale regarding an immigrant fighting deportation.

Farage said a convicted killer had used the Human Rights Act to avoid deportation by claiming ownership of a cat.

He told the audience how a court had decided that the man:

“..Should not be deported because … (and I really am not making this up)… because he had a pet cat!”

In Manchester today Theresa May matched Nigel Farage word for word, pause for pause when talking about the same immigrant who she said:

“.. Cannot be deported because – (and I am not making this up) – because he had a pet cat!”

Almost identical – except that Nigel Farage got a much bigger laugh as he is a natural raconteur and Theresa May clearly isn’t.


The problem is the story was indeed ‘made up’– with the result that an embarrassed Theresa May was confronted with the evidence on live TV by BBC presenter Andrew Neil.

The story originated in 2008 and seems to have developed into an urban myth, often quoted by opponents of the Human Rights Act –  possibly confusing the case with that of Learco Chindamo, a migrant convicted of the murder of headmaster Phillip Lawrence.

Chindamo had avoided deportation after it was ruled that it would breach his Human Right to a family life.

At Eastleigh, Nigel Farage claimed that the incident had occurred a few weeks ago and that the immigrant was a Peruvian – but he was actually a Bolivian. Farage mistakenly claimed that the man had a conviction for manslaughter although it was for shop lifting.

Both politicians wrongly claimed the man had been granted leave to stay under the Human Rights Act when in fact it was because the immigration tribunal had previously failed to treat his partner as a spouse which would accord a right of residence.

But it was true to say that the person in question owned a cat.

Nigel Farage Daily Express

Nigel Farage recommends a good source of reliable news stories

It would seem that a Tory party aide must have attended one of Nigel Farage’s speaking engagements and taken notes of his best quips!

Ukip members were once described by David Cameron as ‘fruit cakes , loonies and closet racists”

Daily Mash: “Government must not get bogged down by facts”

  20 comments for “Farage cat tale snares Theresa May

  1. October 5, 2011 at 8:20 am

    You wouldnt want to be Mrs Mays adviser who gave her that little gem.

  2. Peter Stewart
    October 5, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    Fascinating! Well spotted too! They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Nigel should indeed be flattered.

    Was it Cameron who called us “fruit cakes, loonies and closet racists”? One loses track of all the Tory leaders over the last few years! I thought it was IDS who said it. But they are all the same grey traitors so it doesn’t matter. They all speak out of fear of UKIP. Did you know that the combined vote splitting effect of UKIP plus the BNP cost the Tories around 47 marginal seats in 2010? At this rate, even by fiddling the new Parliamentary Constituency boundaries, they will never win another General Election as long as the anti-EU parties stand and split their vote. The only way they will ever get back into number 10, is by crawling on their knees to the LibDems.

  3. veronica100
    October 5, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    There is no mystery here, Theresa May is clearly a closet UKIPer.

  4. October 5, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    UKIP audiences will generally split their sides at anything that is even slightly anti-europe.

    Could it be that Mrs May didn’t get the same laugh as Nigel, because the Tory delegates could forsee the enormous potential for ridicule and were concerned about it…?

  5. David Scott
    October 6, 2011 at 9:42 am

    It’s your story that wrong. The judge did mention the cat as evidence of the illegal immigrant having a ‘family life’ here. If Theresa is tuning in to Nigel Farage, well done to her.

    • mm
      Eastleigh Xpress
      October 6, 2011 at 10:11 am

      I didn’t say the judge didn’t mention the cat.

  6. David Scott
    October 6, 2011 at 10:10 am


    N.B: If posters could shorten long links before they post them that would be helpful.ed 😉

  7. Peter Stewart
    October 6, 2011 at 10:30 am

    We ARE a nation of animal lovers but if the judge really did take into account the feelings of our feline friend, then I suggest it’s time for him to be gone, along with the illegal immigrant he allowed to stay.

    I think we have to be very careful not to get bogged down in political correctness. We must be careful to distinguish between:
    1) immigrants who are INVITED to come into OUR country (yes OUR country) and
    2) those who are NOT invited, either by outstaying their invitations or simply by taking advantage of the fact that treacherous leaders have opened our borders to hundreds of millions of EU “citizens” against our wishes and without our express approval.

    Would you open the front door of your house to anybody? Well that’s what Britain has done. No wonder the people are up in arms (or would be if the Government had not pre-empted such a revolution)!

    • mm
      Eastleigh Xpress
      October 6, 2011 at 4:23 pm

      Ehh? What’s political correctness got to do with this Pete?
      For me the story here is evidence the Home Secretary is basing policy on some bullsh*t story Nigel got off a bloke down the pub.
      That’s no way to run a country!
      Whats worse is having got someone else find the story and write it out for her she can’t even deliver it without fluffing her lines.
      Listen to it again.
      What’s an ‘Eely immigrant’ ffs??
      Conjures up a picture of a Bolivian covered in Eels.

    • Nick
      October 9, 2011 at 4:28 pm

      Works both ways. Say some other EU country was doing better economically than us and had more jobs available (and I can think of one or two where this is the case), it means that you have the right to emigrate and work over there, just like they can here. If you don’t like other EU nationals coming over here, put yourselves in their shoes.

  8. Haddock
    October 6, 2011 at 10:32 am

    it could be, of course, that The Eastleigh News have got it wrong ?


    • mm
      Eastleigh Xpress
      October 6, 2011 at 11:49 am

      Well, the Telegraph story is correct although it describes the reason for being granted leave to stay as a ‘technical error’ – the reason was that the spouse of a UK citizen has a right to residency.
      It supports the Eastleigh News story.
      The Daily Mail story is incomplete as it only recounts the 2005 hearing and is therefore misleading.
      What about Nigel’s claim that the man has a conviction for manslaughter? Are you standing by that?

      • Simon Cox
        October 6, 2011 at 2:19 pm

        Good story, Stephen. What Ms May says is more interesting for what she left out. 1: The policy under which the appeal was allowed – DP 3/96 – was a policy introduced by the Conservative Govt in 1996. See its text here
        The policy was revoked by the Labour Govt. Second, she did not mention that her oficers appealed and that on the appeal the judge agreed with them about the cat, but upheld the decision for other reasons. So this was an example of the appeal system working as it should, by correcting errors. Third, she did not say whether her officers appealed in the other two cases, if not, why not and if they did what happened. Last, she did not say why two uncorrected decisions out of thousands under the Human Rights Act means a change in the law is needed. Oh, and of course, she did not say why the change she suggests will make any difference. All in all, a totally bogus distraction!

  9. Erwin Schrodinger
    October 6, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    No Theresa, you didn’t make it up. Nigel Farage did. Do you believe everything he says?

  10. Peter Stewart
    October 7, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    Well that bit about PC was intended not for you EN but any respondents who might feel that because the “r” word was being discussed, that they should moderate their comments (because that is what we have been conditioned to do in this country for the last 45 years). But overall I thought it was a truly fascinating article and worthy of national merit. I wonder if any of the other papers have noticed Theresa May’s adoration of Nigel.

  11. Peter Stewart
    October 7, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    No Theresa, you didn’t make it up. Nigel Farage did. Do you believe everything he says?

    By copying Nigel so closely, Theresa has revealed her leanings towards UKIP. Surely that is a story in itself, even more interesting that the cat.

  12. Richard Morris
    October 8, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    Congratulations to the Eastleigh News for the quality of its writing and the comic delivery. Speaking as a journalist of 20 years it’s gratifying to see good journalism is alive and well in the regions. Well done Stephen, your story has brightened up an otherwise grey weekend. I especially like the Express quip.

    • mm
      Eastleigh Xpress
      October 8, 2011 at 6:26 pm

      Thank you Richard (and Simon).
      The 23 years I spent working in the bodyshop of the Ford Transit factory was wonderful training for any journalist – you get to read an awful lot of newspapers!
      I would recommend it to anyone with aspirations to write as a more lucrative alternative to university.

  13. Steve Richards
    October 9, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    Where UKIP goes other parties follow!

    So Theresa May has ‘borrowed’ a UKIP speech.
    the other parties have also borrowed the UKIP idea of increasing basic tax allowance to match the minimum wage.

    It is comforting to see such copying of UKIP policies, why can’t the other parties copy the main policy and get us out of the EU?

    We could then get our own version of the human rights act and ‘cats’ would not come into it!

    • mm
      Eastleigh Xpress
      October 9, 2011 at 5:54 pm

      Steve, Cats don’t come into it. That was all made up.

Comments are closed.