In another blow to PM, Brexit champion to stand in UK polls

LONDON: Nigel Farage, who helped champion Britain’s departure from the EU, said on Monday he would stand as a candidate in next month’s election and will lead the rightwing Reform Party in a major blow to PM Rishi Sunak.
The surprise U-turn by Farage, now a TV host, will challenge Sunak’s Conservatives for the support of right-leaning voters at a time when the governing party is already badly trailing the Labour Party in the polls.
Farage, 60, had previously said he would not stand in the July 4 vote in order to help Donald Trump fight the US election later this year. But Farage said he changed his mind because he felt guilty not standing up for people who had become disillusioned with politics and had always backed him.
“We are going to be the voice of opposition, and I tell you what, I have done it before, I’ll do it again, I’ll surprise everybody,” Farage told a news conference, saying it was a fait accompli that Labour would win but he wanted to position Reform as its main opponent. He said he would lead a “political revolt” in Britain because “nothing in this country works anymore”, citing problems with public services such as healthcare and roads.
Although Farage has stood unsuccessfully for parliament seven times he is still one of the most influential British politicians of his generation, putting pressure on a succession of PMs to take tougher positions on the EU and on tackling immigration. Farage has previously made comments that his political opponents have called racist. Farage appeared in front of a poster during the Brexit campaign showing lines of migrants under the slogan “Breaking Point” and last month said Muslims did not share British values.


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