“I’m back!” — Nigel Farage announces his return to frontline politics to contest UK general election

Conservative politician Nigel Farage is back as a leader of a political party and calls for a "revolt" against Britain's establishment parties in next month's election

FILE - Former leader of the Brexit Party Nigel Farage waves a British flag as he speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference at National Harbor, in Oxon Hill, Md., Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
By Thomas Brooke
5 Min Read

U.K. conservative Nigel Farage has announced his return to frontline politics, confirming he will lead the fledgling Reform U.K. party with immediate effect and will be vying for a seat in parliament in next month’s general election.

Farage, famously dubbed “Mr. Brexit” by former U.S. President Donald Trump, told a packed press conference on Monday he would be contesting the seat of Clacton on July 4, an impoverished seaside town in the southeast English county of Essex which garnered considerable support for Brexit in the 2016 referendum.

“What I intend to lead is a political revolt. Yes, a revolt. A turning of our backs on the political status quo,” Farage said.

“It doesn’t work. Nothing in this country works anymore,” he added after declaring next month’s vote the “immigration election.”

“The health service doesn’t work. The roads don’t work. None of our public services are up to scratch. We are in decline. This will only be turned around with boldness.”

Several Conservative Party candidates contacted Remix News following the announcement to express their dismay at Farage’s decision to stand after having their concerns about a political comeback for the GB News broadcaster alleviated just two weeks ago when he announced the election had come too soon for a return.

“Just one day I would like there to be some good news,” one parliamentary candidate told us, while another questioned why Prime Minister Rishi Sunak hadn’t tried to strike a deal with Farage to persuade him not to stand.

Writing in The Telegraph newspaper on Monday, Farage wrote, “There’s no doubt that I have taken a big risk in giving up the life I currently enjoy to work for a vision of Britain so hated by our wrong-headed elites. But the state of the nation has left me with no choice.

“Moreover, I am confident of overturning this ragged Tory party to then take the fight to all those who deny Britain a bright future as a self-governing, prosperous country.”

Next month’s election will be the eighth time Farage has attempted to enter the House of Commons, and polling by Britain Elects suggests he has a fight on his hands, as the Conservatives are currently predicted to hold on to the seat with 32 percent of the vote, while Reform U.K. and the Labour Party both have 24 percent. However, the polling comes with the important caveat that it “does not factor for personalities,” and there aren’t many bigger ones in British politics than Farage.

A perennial thorn in the side of the governing Conservatives, Farage has spent decades lobbying for the party to move further to the Right, establishing several pressure parties including UKIP, which helped secure the Brexit referendum, and the Brexit Party, which won the last-ever European elections in Britain.

He says he expects a Labour landslide next month and hopes such a result can lead to a hostile takeover of the Conservative Party as it seeks to rebuild and salvage its political existence, citing Canada as his inspiration.

“Why do you think I called it Reform? Because of what happened in Canada — the 1992-93 precedent in Canada, where Reform comes from the outside because the Canadian Conservatives had become social democrats like our mob here,” he told the Sunday Times newspaper.

“It took them time, it took them two elections, they became the biggest party on the center-right. They then absorbed what was left of the Conservative Party into them and rebranded,” he added.

Despite polling impressively for a fledgling party, political breakthroughs in Britain’s first-past-the-post electoral system are notoriously difficult and Reform U.K. is still predicted to win zero seats. It will, however, ensure that dozens of Conservative seats are lost to Labour by splitting the vote, a strategy proudly boasted by Farage and former leader-turned-chairman Richard Tice, who will look to realign the Conservative Party’s priorities in the aftermath of the party’s worst electoral defeat in its history.

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