Veteran politician and tireless Brexit campaigner, Nigel Farage, has claimed he is leaving politics for good, thus opening up a vacuum at the respectable far-right corner of British politics.
In an exclusive interview with the Sunday Telegraph (March 06), Farage said he is stepping down as leader of Reform UK, the populist party he established in late 2018, and which was originally called the Brexit Party.
Farage said that Reform UK’s chairman, Richard Tice, will now assume the leadership role.
Farage emphatically told the Sunday Telegraph that this time around he is leaving politics for good.
"I know I've come back once or twice when people thought I'd gone, but this is it. It's done. It's over", Farage was at pains to stress.
"Party politics, campaigning, being involved in elections, that is now over for me because I've achieved the one thing I set out to do: to achieve the independence of the UK”, Farage added in a thinly-veiled reference to Brexit.
Charismatic and controversial in equal measure, Farage has been a force in British politics since he helped establish the United Kingdom Independence party (UKIP) in 1992. In 2006 he became UKIP leader and over the next decade he helped shape the debate over Britain’s exit from the European Union (EU).
And yet despite his achievements – and near total domination of the respectable corner of far-right politics – Farage was never able to win a seat at the House of Commons.
In the past 18 months Farage – ever the populist – has devoted most of his time to observing and documenting migrant crossings across the English Channel, with a view to whipping up xenophobia amongst the British population.
In view of his charisma and unparalleled populist appeal – coupled with the increasingly right-wing mood in the country – it remains to be seen whether Farage is really gone for good this time around.