Nigel Farage has resigned as leader of the Reform UK party and announced that he is quitting politics again – but vowed that this time he won’t be coming back because Brexit “won’t be reversed”.
The 56-year-old told the Telegraph’s Choppers Politics podcast: “There is no going back – Brexit is done. That won’t be reversed. 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 said he is stepping away from frontline politics but he is not going far away with China and the so-called culture war his two new priorities.
In 2016 Farage famously stepped down as UKIP leader after the EU referendum, explaining, “I want my life back”, only to form the Brexit party in 2019 to put pressure on Theresa May’s government during negotiations with the EU. The party achieved remarkable results in the subsequent European elections with 29 MEPs elected – results that shook the Conservatives into getting rid of May and electing Boris Johnson as party leader and prime minister, to “get Brexit done”.
Farage told Choppers: “Now’s the moment for me to say I’ve knocked on my last door. I’m going to step down as the leader of Reform UK.”
‘I think now’s the moment to say I have done it,’ says Farage
In a statement released on Reform UK’s website, Farage – who “began his career in 1982 as a commodities trader at the London Metal Exchange – said: “Whilst I was always interested in current affairs, I had never intended to be directly involved in politics. I did so for one overwhelming reason; Britain’s membership of the European Union.
“I had watched the Tory rebels during the Maastricht Rebellion doing their best but, in the end, submitting to party loyalty. I realised that someone had to take up the fight.”
On the podcast he said: “We’ve done it, we’ve achieved it. For me, I feel my political career, in the sense of actively leading a political party, fighting election campaigns… I think now’s the moment to say I have done it.”
The former leader and founder of UKIP and the Brexit Party – which was rebranded Reform UK last year – takes up the role of ‘Honorary President’ of the party while his deputy Richard Tice takes over as leader.
Most influential politician of past 20 years – failed seven times to become MP
“Reform will need to democratise itself and set up a national structure. It is no easy task and I wish Richard well in this huge endeavour,” said the man daubed “the most influential politician of the past two decades” – who also tried to be elected as an MP seven times but never succeeded.
He blamed the last of his Westminster election defeats on alleged Conservative election fraud.
Farage has no plans to retire, telling Chopper, “I’m not off to play golf four afternoons a week and have half a bitter afterwards. That’s not happening.”
Eyes on China and Culture Wars
He has his eyes instead on “doing battle” on two very big issues: “One is the extent to which the Chinese Communist Party is taking over our lives and certainly has undue influence in our country,” he said.
“And the other thing [is] the ‘woke agenda’ – literally the indoctrination of our children from primary school all the way through university with now a completely different interpretation of history.
“I see our communities being divided more than ever by this agenda. And I’m very worried about it. I want to fight all those things.”
Fox enters race to be London Mayor
Farage’s announcement comes as Lawrence Fox, the actor, musician and controversial leader of the anti-Woke Reclaim party, announced he is standing for London Mayor to fight against “extreme political correctness”.
The anti-lockdowner said he is fighting on a platform to lift all restrictions if he wins the election in May, rather than waiting until June, while adding he will “offer a voice to those who are being dominated into silence”.
The Reclaim party is reportedly solely funded by Conservative donor Jeremy Hosking who has donated “hundreds of thousands of pounds” to the Tories and has also “been confirmed as a major financial backer for the Brexit party”.