June 25, 2024


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Nigel Farage is running as a Reform UK candidate in Clacton

Nigel Farage is running as a Reform UK candidate in Clacton

Video explanation, Nigel Farage has been announced as the UK’s reform leader and Clacton’s candidate for Parliament

Nigel Farage has announced his candidacy for the general election of the Reform Party in the United Kingdom, and will take over as leader of the party.

He will be the Reform candidate in Clacton, having previously said he would not stand in the general election scheduled for July.

The former leader of UKIP and the Brexit Party said he had changed his mind after spending time on the campaign trail, adding that he did not want to let his supporters down.

The seat of Essex, which was the first to be elected as a UKIP MP in 2014, has a Conservative majority of 24,702 seats.

Farage said he wanted to lead a “political revolution,” adding: “Yes, a revolution. Turning our backs on the political status quo. It’s not working. Nothing works in this country anymore.”

He expected the Conservatives to be in opposition after the general elections.

“They’re divided on politics and, frankly, right now they don’t stand for anything,” he said.

“So our goal in this election is to get many millions of votes. And I’m talking about many more votes than UKIP got in 2015,” he added.

In another blow to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, two polls indicated that the Conservatives were on course for a crushing defeat.

A poll conducted by YouGov for Sky News Opinion polls in which about 60,000 people participated, and which were conducted between May 24 and June 1, showed that the Labor Party is preparing to achieve its largest electoral victory in history, as it won 422 seats, while the number of Conservative seats decreased to Only 140 seats.

while, More in the joint survey Out of 15,000 people, conducted between April 9 and May 29, it predicted Labor would win 382 seats, compared to 180 for the Conservatives.

Both are MRP polls, which show results in individual constituencies, and were conducted before Mr Farage announced his candidacy.

Farage made clear his intention to put immigration at the heart of his election campaign.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “As a country we simply cannot continue with the population exploding in this way.”

He said the UK should accept far fewer unskilled migrants, saying: “We don’t need any – we literally don’t need any.”

He also appeared to be abandoning the reform policy of transferring asylum seekers to British Overseas Territories. He said the idea was not “very practical,” adding: “I took over the job yesterday. They gave me more than 12 hours and I will sort out some things.”

Farage has stood unsuccessfully to be an MP seven times, most recently in South Thanet, Kent, in the 2015 general election, when he finished second behind the Conservative candidate.

Reform UK had already selected a candidate for Clacton’s position, but Farage said he had known for “several months” that it was “likely” he would be replaced.

The constituency was previously owned by UKIP after former Conservative MP Douglas Carswell defected to the party and triggered a by-election, which it won.

More than 70% of voters in the constituency supported Brexit in the 2016 referendum – the fifth highest figure in the UK.

In 2017, Conservative Giles Watling ousted UKIP, taking the seat by a majority of more than 15,000 votes.

By 2019, with no UKIP or Brexit Party candidate, Watling’s majority had risen to 24,702. He will defend the seat again in July for the Conservatives.

Watling told the BBC: “I would be happy to take Nigel around Clacton so he can see the truth of the matter, but I am not prepared to see Clacton voters sacrificed on the altar of his ego.”

Many Conservatives fear that Farage’s prominent role in the campaign will harm the Conservatives.

In the previous incarnation of the reform in 2019, the Brexit Party withdrew from more than 300 seats previously won by the Conservatives, amid fears it would split the pro-Brexit vote.

However, Farage said there would be no deals with the Conservative Party at the next general election, and the party is competing for 630 seats across England, Scotland and Wales.

Reform had one MP in the last parliament, Lee Anderson – who defected from the Conservative Party in March. Party leader Richard Tice stood aside for Farage on Monday.

A Conservative Party spokesman said Farage “risks giving Keir Starmer a blank cheque”.

He added: “Farage knows that Reform won’t win any seats, but he doesn’t seem to care that voting for Reform only helps Labour.”

Liberal Democrat deputy leader Daisy Cooper said: “Rishi Sunak’s continued appeasement of reform has terrified former Conservative voters in the centre.

“Sunak must show some backbone and rule out Farage joining the Conservative Party in the future, including if he is elected as an MP.”

Other candidates announced to stand in Clacton so far are:

Giles Watling, Conservative Party

Jovan Owusu Naipaul, Labor Party

Matthew Pencilom, Liberal Democrats

Natasha Ozpin, Green Party

The full list will be published on the BBC News website after nominations close on Friday

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