Nigel Farage, former leader of the UK Independence and Brexit parties, and Andy Murray, a Scottish tennis player formerly ranked No. 1 in the world, sparred on Twitter Sunday and Monday after Farage tweeted in support of Novak Djokovic.
Djokovic, the Serbian tennis player currently ranked No. 1 in the world, won his appeal Monday and will be allowed to compete in the Australian Open. The Australian government attempted to deport Djokovic for violating the country’s public health rules after he arrived in the country Wednesday without having first received the COVID-19 vaccine.
The spat began when Farage tweeted a video from Belgrade at around 10:00 a.m. local time Sunday with the caption “In the trophy room with Novak’s brother Djordje.” The video showed the Brexit architect examining the trophies the tennis star has accrued over the course of his career, which includes a record-tying number of Grand Slam singles titles.
Murray fired back almost two hours later, accusing Farage of hypocrisy for hobnobbing with the Serbian athlete’s family after spending “most of your career campaigning to have people from Eastern Europe deported.”
After about 10 hours, Farage answered, tweeting that Murray doesn’t “understand politics or the Brexit campaign” and is “filled with prejudice.” He encouraged Murray to “[c]oncentrate on the tennis.”
Murray got in the last word about two hours after that with a tweet that consisted entirely of the “Fishing Pole and Fish” emoji.
Social media users often use that emoji to indicate that someone is “fishing for attention.”
It could, however, also be a reference to a viral March letter to the editor of the Yorkshire Post, which accused Farage of harming the British fishing industry.