Farage resigns as Ukip boss
Nigel Farage. Source: Flickr
Nigel Farage has resigned as the leader of UK Independence Party just two weeks after Britons voted to leave the EU, saying he “couldn’t possibly achieve more”.
Farage, who was elected as an MEP in 1999, said he had never wanted to be a career politician and was stepping down. “I now feel that I’ve done my bit, that I couldn’t possibly achieve more,” he said. “I won’t be changing my mind again, I assure you,” in reference to last year’s resignation U-turn.
The party’s only MP, Douglas Carswell, tweeted a smiling emoji with sunglasses, in apparent reference to tensions between the pair. Carswell told the BBC: “We went too far [on immigration], and I criticised it when we went too far … and it’s not just morally wrong, it’s electorally disastrous. This is a decent, generous country. People have a legitimate right of feel a sense of anger with their politicians but the answer to that is not to play on people’s fears and anger but to promise the hope of something better.” But Carswell ruled himself out of running for the job, saying the chances were “somewhere between nil and zero”. He said his role was to “steer Ukip away from the temptations of becoming an angry nativist party”, arguing it went too far in the referendum campaign.
Farage, 52, told the media: “The victory for the Leave side in the referendum means that my political ambition has been achieved. Ukip is in a good position and will continue, with my full support to attract a significant vote. Whilst we will now leave the European Union the terms of our withdrawal are unclear. If there is too much backsliding by the government and with the Labour Party detached from many of its voters then Ukip’s best days may be yet to come.”
During the EU referendum campaign he refused to apologise for a widely condemned “Breaking point” poster showing a queue of refugees stretching into the distance. During last year’s general election campaign he, saying the British should “put their own people first”.
“I will support the new leader, I will watch the renegotiation process in Brussels like a hawk and perhaps comment in the European Parliament from time to time. I’m also very keen to help the independence movements that are springing up in other parts of the European Union, because I’m certain of one thing: you haven’t seen the last country that wants to leave the EU,” Farage said.