Ukip have declared "war" on the BBC by calling the police over a joke on Have I Got News For You and "complaining like hell" over Nigel Farage's omission from tonight's leaders' debate (30 April).
The anti-EU party called police over a joke told on the BBC satirical news quiz, claiming it hit Farage's prospects of winning the South Thanet election race.
It comes after a poll found leader Farage was on course to lose the race for the Kent seat, an outcome which would precipitate his resignation as Ukip leader – according to a condition set down by Farage himself.
A Ukip spokesman said the party was "now at war with the BBC" after Have I Got News For You panellist Camilla Long said she had been to Farage's target constituency more times than him.
But Kent police threw out Ukip's complaint. A police spokesman said there was "no evidence" of offences.
The BBC defended the Long's jibe, saying: "Britain has a proud tradition of satire, and everyone knows that the contributors on Have I Got News For You regularly make jokes at the expense of politicians of all parties."
Meanwhile, Farage went on the attack during an interview on LBC radio this morning, railing against his Election Leaders Question Time snub. The final TV debate of the election campaign is due to broadcast this evening (Thursday).
Railing against the national broadcaster, Farage said he had been subjected to attacks unlike those against any other candidate and insisted he was "very angry" at being omitted from tonight's BBC TV debate.
He also said Ukip had been starved of coverage by the broadcaster during the election campaign.
Polling by former Conservative grandee Lord Ashcroft found Farage lagging two points behind the Tory candidate in South Thanet.