Brexit has gotten messy.
Nigel Farage, one of the leading advocates of the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union, was doused with a milkshake Monday in Newcastle, England, by a man who said he was protesting Farage's "bile and racism."
Northumbria Police said Tuesday that Paul Crowther, 32, had been charged with common assault and criminal damage for throwing the banana-and-salted-caramel shake from Five Guys on the Brexit Party leader.
Farage's suit was left covered by the milky treat during a campaign stop ahead of the European Parliament election, which begins Thursday. Those elections, held every five years, did not generally animate public passions in the past. Only a third of voters turned out to cast ballots in 2014.
But as Brexit – which was supposed to be completed by March 29 – drags on, interest in the election has grown. And Farage's party, which was formed last month, has drawn enthusiasm from those frustrated with the failure of Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative government to implement the 2016 referendum to leave the EU.
Opinion polls show that Farage’s party could pick up a third of the vote in the election for the country's 73 seats in the 751-seat European Parliament.
"There is a momentum, an energy behind the Brexit Party," Farage told The Associated Press. "There are millions of people out there asking a question: What kind of country are we if we turn our backs on a democratic result?"
Farage, a longtime opponent of the EU, was a leader of the "Leave" campaign in 2016. He has railed against politicians' "betrayal" of the Brexit vote and May's "shameful" efforts to strike an exit deal with the EU. A fan of President Donald Trump, he has also derided the "career political class."
On Tuesday, May's Cabinet agreed to back the latest tweaks to her proposal to leave the EU, after three previous efforts were rejected by parliament. May is expected to give more details on the latest details later on Tuesday and a vote on the new terms is expected in June.
Farage's party wants to leave the EU without a deal in place. Experts have warned that such a move could seriously damage the country's economy, but Farage and his supporters have dismissed those concerns as "Project Fear."
Farage is not the first right-wing politician to fall victim to a milkshake attack. Tommy Robinson, an anti-immigrant activist who is running for a seat in Parliament, was pelted by milkshakes twice in two days earlier this month.
Contributing: The Associated Press
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Man arrested for throwing milkshake on Brexit leader Nigel Farage to protest his 'racism'