Police are investigating after Nigel Farage told an audience in Newport “we’ll take the knife” to civil servants after Brexit.
Dozens of complaints have been made to Gwent Police about the Brexit Party leader’s comments, made at an event at the Neon Theatre, believed to have been last Saturday.
In a video, Mr Farage says: “And when the president of the port of Calais and the boss of the port of Dover tell you they’re 100% ready for Brexit in whatever form it comes, I suggest we listen to them and not the overpaid pen pushers in Whitehall who are not doing an neutral job.
“And once Brexit’s done, we’ll take the knife to them. Alright? Had enough of all of it. Had enough of all of it.”
Pressed by Alliance Party leader Naomi Long MEP as to whether the comments would be investigated, Gwent Police tweeted: “Thank you for your message. We have been made aware of comments made last night in Newport and we are looking into these allegations.”
At least 26 complaints have been made to the force on Twitter.
Mr Farage used the platform to respond directly to the Sky News story about his comments, saying: “I should have said ‘take the axe’, which is a more traditional term for cuts.”
It comes amid increased concern over the language and rhetoric being used by politicians over the Brexit impasse, with more than 100 Church of England bishops among those to have spoken out about fiery exchanges in parliament.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has denied exploiting divisions with his language about the issue, including labelling laws intended to block a no-deal exit from the EU as a “surrender act”.
Former cabinet minister Amber Rudd has argued the language he used incites violence, with Labour MP Jess Phillips one of those who has spoken out about the threats she has received.
Mr Johnson has said that while abuse of parliamentarians is “absolutely appalling”, banning the use of words like surrender would mean “impoverishing debate”.
Mr Farage tweeted his support for the prime minister over his rhetoric, saying: “When Boris Johnson uses words like surrender and betrayal, he is right.
“That’s why he should not surrender to the Withdrawal Agreement and betray 17.4 million people.”
The agreement refers to the Brexit deal struck by former primer minister Theresa May, which was voted down by parliament three times.
The “take the knife” remark by Mr Farage comes little more than a month after a civil servant in his 60s was stabbed outside the Home Office.
The victim, who works at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, went to the government building for help after suffering knife wounds in the street attack on 15 August.
Police charged Dominic Hornberger, 29, from Birmingham, with grievous bodily harm with intent and possession of a knife in a public place after the incident.