Farage in the Midlands: Two sides clash at Willenhall Brexit Party rally
Two sides of the political spectrum clashed in the Black Country as Nigel Farage brought his Brexit Party rally to the region.
As supporters of Mr Farage and his new party queued to enter The Willows on Bath Street, Willenhall, dozens of counter protesters gathered outside the venue.
Using megaphones and holding signs campaigning against the Brexit Party leader's appearance in the Black Country, there was a fear among security staff of the incident boiling over.
They waited in the wings as the counter protesters chanted "save our NHS" and "Two, four, six, eight, we don't want your racist hate", towards the public queuing outside.
Mr Farage's supporters quipped back at the jeers by laughing and vehemently chanting "Nigel, Nigel", while one man also labelled the group as "losers".
Organiser of the counter protest, Wolverhampton councillor Beverley Momenabadi, said: "I have organised this demonstration because Farage's message is one of division and hate.
"He has been on record pledging support for privatising the NHS, relaxing gun laws and stating that immigrants with HIV should not be treated on the NHS.
"He does not represent Britain or the Midlands, Britain is better than him.
'The problem with Brexit is Brexit itself'
"He's coming to Willenhall to blame everyone else for the problems caused by Brexit, he'll blame the politicians, the immigrants, the EU, everyone but himself.
"But, the truth is, the problem with Brexit is Brexit itself, not some clapped out betrayal theory.
"And although our demonstration is not about leave or remain, it's about time that Farage and every other politician who has championed this cause took some responsibility for the mess they have caused.
"Today is about making it known that the division and hatred that Farage perpetuates isn't what our city and towns stand for in the Midlands."
Once inside, the tense atmosphere subsided and was replaced by eager anticipation ahead of the rally.
It began with huge cheers for chairman of the Brexit Party, Richard Tice, who took to the stage saying: "It's nice to be here in Wolverhampton" - which was greeted with moans and calls of "No, it's Willenhall."
Despite his earlier gaffe the crowds roared throughout the evening as all seven of the Brexit Party's West Midlands candidates for the European Elections were announced, with each giving a short speech.
Last of all was Nigel Farage who was greeted with a standing ovation from the Black Country crowd.
The 55-year-old was vocal in criticising Theresa May, the European Parliament and the Labour Party throughout his speech that stirred up a frenzy for the hundreds of supporters packed into The Willows.
He said: "The point is, we're being deceived.
"We're being told to leave one European treaty, to sign up to another one, which in many ways is as bad if not worse than the current arrangement.
"We will be damned if we're going to accept it."
Mary Miller, aged 42, from Willenhall, added: "Nigel is one of the finest speakers in this country and he'll answer any question put to him.
"This is what the country needs, we need to leave and we need to do it with this party."
One of the counter protestors, Chris Burden, believes that Mr Farage is out for himself after launching the party.
The 23-year-old from Oxley, Wolverhampton, said: "He wants Brexit because it will benefit him, not the country.
"He was a merchant banker, he is one of those people that he claims he is against, it's so ironic.
"Our demonstration has a mixture of everyone, young and old, and different parties, not just Labour, and we're in unity.
"I respect that they have an opinion, but I don't respect the nature of the opinion."