Nigel Farage will replace Richard Tice as the leader of Reform UK and will stand for election in the Essex constituency of Clacton-on-Sea

Farage, who has stood for parliament seven times and been unsuccessful, had recently blamed “short notice” as his reason for not standing. He also said that the US election where he would be campaigning for Donald Trump’s presidency was more globally consequential than the British elections and so he should devote his energies to that. 

In an “emergency” press conference, Farage described his U-turn in detail. He said that there was a mass rejection of the political class coming unlike anything seen in modern times and he couldn’t let millions of people down by not standing.

Farage said he was coming back to lead Reform for the next five years because, although Keir Starmer has already won this election, the Conservative party, he claimed, was incapable of being a proper Opposition. They are divided down the middle on policy and they stand for nothing, he added.

Clacton-on-Sea, which is a safe Conservative seat, had the highest percentage of Leave voters during the Brexit referendum and, under Nigel Farage’s leadership in 2015, previously had 22 Ukip councillors elected. A decade ago, Clacton became the first constituency in Britain to have a Ukip MP, after Douglas Carswell sensationally defected from the Conservatives to Ukip in a move that shocked the Westminster establishment. Carswell later stepped down in 2017, following a fall out with the UKIP leadership during which Farage labelled him a “Tory party posh boy” who was afraid of talking about immigration.

Today, Richard Tice introduced his successor, Farage, insisting that this has to be the “immigration election”. Referring to what they called the dullest election campaign in memory so far, Tice and Farage both said that things needed spicing up. 

If nothing else, they’ve certainly done that.

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