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10th Jul 2018

Nigel Farage threatens he has ‘no choice’ other than to return as UKIP leader

The boys are back in town

Oli Dugmore

The boys are back in town

Nigel Farage has said he will be left with “no choice” other than to return to frontline politics if the government continues to pursue Brexit in the form agreed at Chequers last week.

The MEP said he would return and contest the UKIP leadership when current leader Gerrard Batten’s term ends in March next year.

He described Theresa May and her government as “appalling,” calling on Conservative MPs to hold a vote of no confidence in their leader.

His announcement follows the resignations of two of the cabinet’s most senior Brexiteers, Boris Johnson and David Davis.

Speaking on LBC, Farage said: “I’ve already said that if Article 50 gets suspended beyond March 29, I will put myself back into full-time campaigning.

“I will add to that tonight. Gerard Batten, who is the leader of UKIP and has my confidence and support – his term as leader comes to an end in March of next year.

“There will be a leadership contest within UKIP in March next year. If Brexit is not back on track, if we’re not actually going to be leaving and if this Chequers agreement has not been broken, I will very seriously consider putting my name forward to run as leader of UKIP again.

“I can assure any Conservatives listening to this, sitting in marginal seats, who are not prepared to stand up and honour the wishes of the electorate, I will make damn sure in that situation that you all lose your seats.

“Because there are millions of Conservative voters very unhappy indeed.”

He echoed similar sentiment in a column for the Telegraph: “I never wanted a career in politics. I only ever wanted to stop the country I love being sucked further into a political and economic union which is most unnatural to the instincts of the majority of my fellow citizens.

“However, my own red line is that if Article 50 is suspended or delayed, I will have no choice but to resume campaigning in all parts of the United Kingdom.

“In March 2019, the current leader of UKIP, Gerard Batten, will reach the end of his term in office.

“Unless Brexit is back on track by then, I will have to seriously consider putting my name forward to return as UKIP leader.

“I never thought I would say that again, but the government’s sell-out leaves me with no choice. The latest Brexit betrayal must be reversed.”