Nigel Farage accuses BBC of lacking UKIP 'respect' and makes police complaint

The BBC would lose funding and influence with UKIP in power, Nigel Farage has said.

The UKIP leader has stepped up his battle with the broadcaster, accusing it of bias and undermining his party's challenge for seats at next week's general election.

Farage was not invited to take part in the main Question Time-style programme with David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg last night but did take part in an individual show broadcast separately in England and Wales.

Farage has pulled out of a BBC Radio 1 appearance later today.

Speaking to Sky News, Farage said: "UKIP are the fourth major party in British politics and that is something that has been respected by Sky, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 but not by the BBC.

"If I was in a position of power, I would take away a lot of their funding, a lot of their influence. I think in the modern world the BBC having this vast budget and this huge power over broadcasting is frankly an anachronism."

The UKIP leader said he believed the party was still on track to win "more than a handful" of seats in next week's poll, including his own target of South Thanet.

Meanwhile, Farage reportedly made police complaint about comments made by Sunday Times columnist Camilla Long on Have I Got News For You.

The Guardian reports that Long joked on the BBC One programme last week that she had been to South Thanet, where Farage is standing, more times than he had. She said: “By the time I arrived there he’d only been a few times." This was in response to quotes from one of her articles that described the area as "grubby", “Chernobyl-like” and like “a small nodule of erupted spleen”.

According to the BBC, the comments were not broadcast. But Farage complained that her comments were untrue and were in breach of Section 106 of the Representation of the People Act 1983.

A police spokesman said: "Kent Police received a complaint regarding comments made on a television broadcast last week.

"It was suggested that the comments breached the Representation of the People Act.

"The matter has been reviewed by officers but there’s no evidence of any offences and there will be no further action."

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