Tuesday 15 October 2019

No further action over Jo Brand joke, police say

The comedian joked about throwing battery acid over politicians.

Police will take no further action against Jo Brand after she joked about throwing battery acid at politicians, Scotland Yard has said (Ian West/PA)
Police will take no further action against Jo Brand after she joked about throwing battery acid at politicians, Scotland Yard has said (Ian West/PA)

By Press Association Reporters

Police will take no further action against Jo Brand after she joked about throwing battery acid at politicians, Scotland Yard has said.

The comedian was reported over an allegation of incitement to violence after comments made on Radio 4 programme Heresy on Tuesday, with Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage among her critics.

Brand apologised for the joke, calling it “crass and ill-judged”. However, police have now said she will face no further action.

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Jo Brand will face no police action over a joke about throwing battery acid over politicians (Rick Findler/PA)

In a statement, Scotland Yard said: “Police received an allegation of incitement to violence on 13 June, relating to comments made on a radio programme.

“The referral has been considered by the MPS and no further police action will be taken in relation to this allegation.”

On Wednesday, Mr Farage – who had a milkshake thrown at him while campaigning in Newcastle – accused Brand of inciting violence, although he did not say who against.

Commenting again on Twitter, he said: “I am sick to death of overpaid, left-wing, so-called comedians on the BBC who think their view is morally superior.

“Can you imagine the reaction if I had said the same thing as Jo Brand?”

The Press Association understands that the allegation reported to the police was not made by Mr Farage or the Brexit Party.

Ofcom said it has received 65 complaints about the episode of Heresy.

The BBC said it regretted any offence caused by the radio programme, which was never intended “to encourage or condone violence”.

The corporation said comedy would “always push boundaries”, but added that it would edit the Heresy programme for future repeats.

In reply to a question about the state of UK politics, Brand had told the programme: “Well, yes, I would say that but that’s because certain unpleasant characters are being thrown to the fore and they’re very, very easy to hate and I’m kind of thinking ‘Why bother with a milkshake when you could get some battery acid?’

“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.”

PA Media

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