'I had planned to launch a campaign!' Nigel Farage says he was going to stand as MP but changed his mind - 'Sunak wrongfooted me'

'I had planned to launch a campaign!' Nigel Farage says he was going to stand as MP but changed his mind - 'Sunak wrongfooted me'

'I had planned to launch a campaign!' Nigel Farage

GB News
Gabrielle Wilde

By Gabrielle Wilde

Published: 23/05/2024

- 20:10

Nigel Farage announced that he will not be standing as an MP at the general election in July

Nigel Farage has told GB News that he had "planned to launch a campaign" to stand as an MP in the general election but was "wrongfooted" by the snap decision.

Earlier today the former Ukip leader put out a statement on social media that said he is "fully supportive of Richard Tice's leadership" but he it is "not the right time" for him to go "any further than that".

However, he has now admitted that he was intending to run but hadn't chosen which constituency yet and thinks that the Conservative Party may have heard that.

Speaking to Tom Harwood on GB News, Farage said: "I have always said that there'll be a moment when I throw my hat in the ring fully into British politics.

Nigel Farage, Rishi Sunak

Nigel Farage said that Rishi Sunak "wrong-footed" him by calling the election early

GB News/ PA

"I've also said, aged 60, I've got one more card to play and it's about when I play it. I had, to be honest with you, put in place some preparations to launch [a campaign] next week.

"I wonder whether the Conservative Party found out about it. I think the sense of panic that we saw yesterday, the badly prepared speech, might perhaps have prompted it a little bit."


GB News presenter Tom Harwood asked the former Brexit campaigner where he was going to stand and Farage explained that it "wasn't certain" but there were a "variety of options" that he could have stood for.

Farage explained: "That's the only thing that's changed. The fact that I won't be standing has changed. Am I going to be campaigning? Yes.

"Am I backing Richard Tice 100 per cent? Yes. Will I be travelling around the country, speaking, going to rallies, doing media? Yes."

He added: "I'm going to say, if the Tories think it's great, Nigel is not standing they are wrong. I'm going to be involved in this campaign.

Nigel Farage, Tom Harwood

Nigel Farage said that he remains committed to Reform UK

GB News

"I could not do it in the space of six weeks, yes, he's wrong-footed me.

"In the space of six weeks, I could not find a constituency from scratch and go around the country.

"I'm utterly committed to Reform. I believe their agenda is the only one that can stop the sense of national decline that we're in."

Giving a statement from Downing Street yesterday, Sunak called a general election for July 4, saying "now is the moment for Britain to choose its future".

SunakRishi Sunak announced a general election on July 4PA

Addressing the nation in the pouring rain, the Prime Minister vowed he has “never and will never leave the people of this country to face the darkest of days alone”.

Labour leader Keir Starmer responded quickly and said that: "Together we can stop the chaos."

He added: "We can turn the page. We can start to rebuild Britain and change our country."

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