Theresa May has been told "you are not some Nigel Farage tribute act" as she faced criticism over her remarks on immigration. The Home Secretary was grilled over her uncompromising speech at the Conservative Party conference by Labour MP Chuka Umunna.
Referencing the Ukip leader, he said: "You are not some Nigel Farage tribute act, you are the Home Secretary. "The language you used in that speech and the tone of it I don't think was responsible or temperate."
Mrs May's conference speech in October sparked a storm of controversy after she declared that the UK "does not need" large numbers of foreign arrivals, warning they are putting British workers out of a job, forcing down wages and making it impossible to create a "cohesive society".
Tory MP Sir Nicholas Soames, whose grandfather was Britain’s war-time prime minister, sparked a war of words with Mr Farage after the anti-EU politician hosted his weekly radio phone-in.
During his LBC Radio show, broadcast from Brussels where David Cameron is hoping to complete his EU renegotiation deal, Mr Farage said the Prime Minister had “misread the room” during marathon overnight talks that saw sizeable opposition to his demands.
Taking aim at the Ukip leader on Twitter, Sir Nicholas labelled Mr Farage a “frightful chattering cad and faux bon homme”. But Mr Farage hit back, telling the former defence minister: “You say that you want UK to control borders but you also want UK to remain in EU. I find that frightful.” He added: “Nothing appalling about controlling our borders, striking global trade deals and making our own laws outside of EU.
Nigel Farage has said he intends to stand as a Brexit Party candidate in the European Parliamentary elections if the UK is still a member state.
The Prime Minister requested to delay Brexit until 30 June, with a break clause to leave before then if a deal is ratified, increasing the chances that the UK will still be in the EU on 23 May when the elections are due to take place.
Mr Farage has said that he intends to lead the new Brexit Party into the elections and stand himself as a Member of European Parliament.
The party was launched in January by Catherine Blaiklock, for former UKIP economics spokeswoman. It formed as an official party in April 2019.
Ms Blaiklock had joined Ukip in 2014 and, in 2017, was the party’s unsuccessful candidate for Great Yarmouth. The following year she was was appointed the Economic Spokesman of UKIP but left the party when its leader Gerard Batten appointed the English Defence League’s Tommy Robinson as an adviser.
Mr Farage, who had quit Ukip in December 2018, immediately threw his weight behind the new party and said it had been Ms Blaiklock’s idea but had his full support.
Ahead of the official launch, Ms Blaiklock told TalkRadio: “I won’t run it without Nigel, I’m a nobody and I haven’t got any ego to say that I am an anybody.
‘Labour are in so much trouble here you can’t even believe it,’ says Nigel Farage as we sit in a parked blue bus in Dudley, West Midlands, in the pouring rain. Outside, a group of campaigners in anoraks wave Brexit party banners and sing ‘Bye bye EU’ to the tune of ‘Auld Lang Syne’. A mix of locals and supporters from out of town have assembled to hear Farage. A Japanese camera crew rush to film the circus around him. Reporters from New York are following the pack. Keeping up with Farage is exhausting.
When Farage was last in Dudley, the town went on to vote overwhelmingly to Leave, by 67 percent. Back then, he tells those assembled, the sun was shining. The change in weather, he says, reflects the change in our politics. The story he now has to tell is as much of humiliation as betrayal. Brexit was meant to be a moment of hope, but instead has become a national embarrassment, he says, and it’s time to do something about it. The crowd — made up of a mix of traditional Labour and Tory voters — goes wild as he calls for a no-deal Brexit and asks: ‘Are we going to be a great independent self-governing nation?’ Yes, comes the loud reply.
Farage has been making speeches like this for the best part of two decades, yet his latest project has a reach far beyond what Ukip ever had. Before the Brexit party’s launch last month, he placed a £1,000 bet that it would finish in first place in the European elections. Since then it has defied all expectations — surging in the polls, packing out venues across the country and going viral on social media. It is now polling first in Wales and ahead of Ruth Davidson’s Conservatives in Scotland. Barring a major upset, the party is predicted to come first by a comfortable margin when the votes are announced on Sunday. The big question: what next?
Farage is keen to quash suggestions that support for the Brexit Party in the EU elections can be dismissed as a protest vote: ‘We’ve already won this battle once and it’s been denied us so people have made the connection in their minds that the problem isn’t winning a Brexit vote, the problem is getting a political system in Westminster that is prepared to reflect that view’. The threat the Brexit party poses to the Conservatives has been well-documented. One poll suggests that most Tory councillors — let alone voters — will go with Farage. He hopes to pose as great a problem to Jeremy Corbyn by targeting the millions of Labour supporters who voted Leave and have since been left alienated by the party’s ambiguous stance on a second referendum. ‘This is about breaking the two-party system,’ he tells me. ‘It’s about massive political change in this country. It’s about getting Westminster closer to the people.’ But what about his getting closer to Westminster? ‘It’s very difficult to break through in first-past-the-post politics. I know that more than any human being alive. Here I am again, I mean I must be off my rocker.’