UKIP leader Nigel Farage has said that he will not contest the Newark by-election for a seat in the British Parliament following the resignation of Conservative Party MP Patrick Mercer.
Mercer resigned yesterday after it emerged that he was willing to accept money to ask questions on behalf of lobby groups in the House of Commons. An undercover investigation from last year found that Mercer agreed to lobby on behalf of Fiji in exchange for cash – a blatant breach of parliamentary rules, and tantamount to bribery.
There had been speculation over whether Nigel Farage, riding the crest of a popularity wave, would try to win the seat and enter the House of Commons. But the seat currently has a 16,000 Conservative Party majority out of a total of 51,000 votes in 2010. Labour was in second place on 11,000 votes, the Liberal Democrats got 10,000, and UKIP secured just 2,000 at the last general election.
But overnight polling for UKIP has suggested that overturning Patrick Mercer’s majority is nearly impossible, and it is believed that Farage has bowed out of the race on that basis. He told the BBC that he would be “very interested” in standing in the election which would have to take place after May 22nd.
On reflection, though he said that if he stood and won, Prime Minister David Cameron might consider resigning, Farage decided against the move, claiming that if he stood and lost, the “bubble would be burst”.
UKIP sources have exclusively told Breitbart London that they are considering putting up Amjad Bashir, their business spokesperson. Bashir is of Pakistani extraction, and his run may help put paid to the ‘racism’ myth that stalks UKIP.
An unnamed source told Breitbart London: “Farage would be ill advised to run for Newark. It is no surprise that UKIP’s many detractors are urging him to do it. To do so would be to take him out of the game at a crucial time for the party. UKIP has, as the last half a dozen by-elections have shown, a deep reservoir of talent. Newark will give UKIP the opportunity to showcase more of its depth’.”