Brexit campaign leader Nigel Farage has said he will decide whether or not he will stand in Britain’s upcoming election over “the next couple of days” while speaking on his regular LBC radio show.
The veteran MEP said that part of him wanted to throw himself into the campaign, but speculated that he might be better placed to scrutinise the Brexit negotiations from the European Parliament, which will play a large role in the proceedings.
“I haven’t walked away [and] I haven’t gone away”, he assured listeners, pledging that he would continue to fight to see Brexit delivered whatever he decides.
— LBC (@LBC) April 18, 2017
Farage said he was not too surprised by the Prime Minister’s decision, judging that she is motivated by a desire to secure a mandate and take advantage of very favourable polling – but he also reminded listeners that the Conservative Party stand accused of a breaking election rules in a number of constituencies in 2015, with a number of police investigations ongoing.
5/ This could be PM's way of avoiding special elections as cops investigate up to 20 MPs who allegedly broke speaking rules in 2015
— Raheem Kassam (@RaheemKassam) April 18, 2017
Farage praised Channel 4 political correspondent Michael Crick for his work uncovering the spending scandal – discovering twenty minutes into his broadcast that, as he went on the air, the journalist had broken news that the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) are considering bringing charges against 30 individuals.
BREAKING: The CPS have told Channel 4 News tonight that they are considering charges against more than 30 individuals. #electionexpenses
— Michael Crick (@MichaelLCrick) April 18, 2017
“I think they were genuinely scared of what could happen in a series of by-elections,” he mused, recalling Zac Goldsmith’s defeat in Richmond.
Early on, a caller told the former UKIP chief that, in his view, UKIP voters should “hold their nose” and vote Tory to “save Brexit”.
Farage did not dismiss the caller out of hand, but pointed out that UKIP has proved increasingly popular with working-class voters in Labour constituencies, and raised his misgivings about the government’s commitment to, for example, taking back Britain’s fishing grounds.
“The UKIP voice” would be important in making sure a newly empowered May administration was held to account, he said.
— LBC (@LBC) April 18, 2017
With respect to Labour, Farage predicted Jeremy Corbyn would be “absolutely mullered”. He chided the embattled opposition leader, a lifelong Brexiter, for going back on his principles in the European Union referendum by backing Remain, and characterised him as representing a “cliquey North London view of socialism”.
He also predicted the Liberal Democrats, who have already painted themselves as the party of choice for voters who want Britain to remain subject to the Single Market’s free movement regime, or even stop Brexit altogether, would make some gains, but not many.
— Liberal Democrats (@LibDems) April 18, 2017