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Brexit figurehead and Trump ally Nigel Farage to run in UK election after U-turn

Brexit figurehead and Trump ally Nigel Farage to run in UK election after U-turn
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Nigel Farage, leader of Reform UK, during a news conference in London, UK, on Monday, June 3, 2024.

Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

LONDON — British politician and media personality Nigel Farage, best known for leading the Brexit campaign, announced Monday he would run in the U.K.’s general election next month.

Farage had said he would not stand as a parliamentary candidate for his Reform party in order to focus on supporting Donald Trump’s U.S. presidential campaign.

Farage previously led the UK Independence Party, which rose to prominence in the 2010s on a platform of quitting the European Union, reducing immigration and opposing multiculturalism.

However, the party only ever secured one seat in a general election, and Farage — while a longstanding member of the EU’s European Parliament — failed to become a member of the U.K. parliament despite standing multiple times.

He subsequently quit UKIP and formed the Brexit Party. This later became the right-wing populist Reform Party under a new leader, while Farage stepped away from politics and focused on media commentary.

Reform announced Monday that Farage would become its leader as well as standing to be an MP.

The party is not expected to make significant electoral gains in the July 4 vote, but Farage’s arrival may shake up the campaign widely seen as a two-horse race between the incumbent Conservative Party led by Rishi Sunak, and the Labour Party led by Keir Starmer.

Polls broadly suggest Labour will return to power after 14 years.

Farage said Monday that he intended to lead a “political revolt.”

In a press conference, he indicated he would focus on the divisive issues of migrant small boat arrivals and net migration to the U.K, and said that a vote for Labour or the Conservatives meant “taxes will remain high.”

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