Cutting the comedy?

Not exactly, but Jason Manford hasn’t had much to smile about this week. The comedian has come under fire from supporters of the far-right political group Britain First for branding the party “racist”.

Britain First? Sounds... patriotic.

The British National Party splinter group bills itself as a “street defence organisation”. Immigration, Islam, political correctness and “sexual degeneracy” are just a few of the concepts the organisation claims to oppose, according to its manifesto.

But it’s not a racist group?

That’s what its members say. And some of them do not take kindly to these tricky lines of inquiry, as Manford discovered after he revealed that he had deleted several school friends from Facebook for sharing Britain First’s videos. “Nowt more depressing than finding out someone you know is a racist,” said Manford.

How did Britain First react?

Manford’s Facebook page was flooded with comments from followers claiming the group was not racist, and attacking the comedian for supporting Islam.

Not doing a great job refuting those allegations...

Britain First also responded on its own Facebook page with a photo of Manford next to fellow comedian Ross Noble with a Nazi flag in the background, believed to be taken when the pair starred in a production of the Mel Brooks musical The Producers, which is based around a play called Springtime for Hitler.

Oh dear. Looks like I'm about to become one of their victims!Not like Britain First to take a photo out of context and...

Posted by Jason Manford on Monday, 29 June 2015

What did Manford say?

“Not like Britain First to take a photo out of context and then use it to popularise their bigoted views!” he wrote on Facebook. “No, Nazism isn’t funny, but Mel Brooks’ The Producers Musical is. I am against extremists of all belief systems. I also like to put Britain first (note the lack of capital letter). But my Britain is very different to their idea of Britain.”

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