Nigel Farage – Overview
A former commodities trader, Nigel Farage dedicated 20-years of his life to seeking the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union.
Farage has been a failed Parliamentary candidate on seven occasions between 1994-2015, but can nevertheless console himself that he his almost certainly the most influential political figure in post war Britain never to have sat in the House of Commons.
Farage joined the UK Independence Party (UKIP) in 1993 and was its Leader on four occasions: 1998-2000, 2006-2009, 2010-September 2016, and October 2016-November 2016. Farage left UKIP in 2018, citing its newfound ‘obsession’ with the issue of Islam and the appointment of ex-English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson.
Unhappy with Theresa May’s approach to Brexit, Mr Farage set up and led the ‘Brexit Party’. The Brexit Party would go on to win the 2019 European Elections in Britain.
The electoral presence of Farage’s new party was considered significant in pushing the Conservative Party towards ousting May and replacing her with the more committed Brexiteer, Boris Johnson.
Could Nigel Farage join the Conservative Party?
In late 2023, Nigel Farage entered the Australian jungle as a contestant on ITV‘s flagship “Im a Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!” programme. Farage finished third in the series, missing out on the “King of the Jungle” title to social media influencer Sam Thompson.
As he gorged on the requisite animal body parts, Farage’s stint in the jungle stoked speculation that he could be preparing for a political comeback in 2024 — in one capacity or another.
Although he remains honorary president of Reform UK, the restyled Brexit Party, it has been rumoured that Farage could one day return to the Conservative Party. Farage was a member of the Conservative Party until 1992 when he left over the Maastricht Treaty.
Prior to his appearance in the I’m A Celeb… jungle, Farage was a star attraction at Conservative Party conference which he attended in his capacity as a presenter for GB News.
Speaking to the PoliticsHome website at the time, the staunch Brexiteer said: “I’d be very surprised if I were not Conservative leader by . Very surprised.”
He later told the site that he made the statement “in jest”.
However, a survey conducted by the Conservative Home website, in the wake of Farage’s party conference appearance, showed 72.27 per cent of party members called for the former UKIP leader to be admitted to the Conservative Party, were he to seek membership.
How could Nigel Farage return to frontline politics?
It has been suggested that Farage could return to frontline politics as part of a double-act with former prime minister Boris Johnson. Asked about a potential future partnership with Johnson after leaving the I’m A Celeb... jungle, Farage told ITV’s Good Morning Britain that he would consider doing so, adding: “Never say never. I can’t predict right now what will happen.
Farage has dismissed the idea he could return to the Conservatives under Rishi Sunak’s leadership.
“I am looking at a Conservative government that is in total shambles, facing tomorrow effectively a confidence vote on an issue that affects every single living human being in our country, namely immigration on a level that never happened even during Tony Blair’s days.
“Rishi is a lame duck walking and the Conservative party are headed for total defeat”, he told ITV.
Jonathan Gullis, the MP for Stoke-on-Trent North and member of the New Conservatives, told GB News that the former UKIP leader would be an “asset across the Blue and the Red Wall”.
“I’d love to see it, personally”, Gullis said when the prospect of Farage joining the Conservative Party was raised.
He added: “I think Nigel has a lot to offer”.
What is Nigel Farage Doing Now?
After Brexit was achieved, Farage rebranded the ‘Brexit Party’ as ‘Reform UK’. Farage is currently the Honorary Preside of Reform UK.
Having previously hosted a phone in show on LBC between 2017 and 2020, Farage has now moved into television. He is the host of the evening show, ‘The Nigel Farage Show’ on GB News.
During the Coronavirus pandemic, Farage took an anti-lockdown stance, arguing, ‘the cure is worse than the disease’. Farage also promised to stand Reform UK candidates against ‘any and every’ politician who backed Prime Minister Johnson’s 10-point plan for a ‘Green Industrial Revolution’. He has since stood down from Reform-UK.
In 2020, Farage launched a new financial publication called ‘Fortune & Freedom’ which promised to explain how you can ‘take back control of your money’. ‘Fortune & Freedom’ also vowed to ‘help you take on the City establishment’ and in Farage’s words, to ‘help you profit from a Britain I believe is primed to boom post-Brexit’.
As the Leader of UKIP for many years, Farage was a long-time campaigner for the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union.
Farage was a UKIP Member of the European Parliament, from 1999-2020, successfully standing for the party in South East England in every European election during that period. Within the European Parliament, Farage gave many speeches attacking the European Union.
The emerging electoral threat posed by UKIP, led then Conservative Party leader David Cameron to include a commitment to hold a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union in his 2015 manifesto. Cameron believed that his pledge on an EU referendum would stop the Conservatives hemorrhaging votes to UKIP.
Farage was a figurehead in the referendum campaign of 2016. He initially supported ‘Vote Leave’ – the official campaign organisation in favour of leaving the European Union – but later grew disillusioned with the organisation citing the marginalisation of himself and his ‘Grassroots Out’ movement.
Farage would go on to separate himself from ‘Vote Leave’ and campaigned alongside a separate Leave EU group.
Following the referendum result, Mr Farage became Vice-chairman of ‘Leave Means Leave’- an organization which many saw as focused on a so called ‘hard Brexit’. By 2019, so upset was Farage with Theresa May’s ‘Brexit-in-name-only’ deal, that he set up the ‘Brexit Party’.
Again, after a dominant showing in the 2019 EU elections, Farage frightened the Conservative party into acting. Theresa May was pressurized to leave office and the Party replaced her with Boris Johnson.
In the 2019 General Election, Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party decided not to stand against Conservative candidates. The move undoubtedly helped the Conservative Party position themselves as the Brexit option in that year’s election.
In late 2020 Farage appeared to give lukewarm support to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s eventual Brexit deal.
Nigel Farage and ‘Reform UK’
Prior to the 2019 General Election, Nigel Farage announced that following Brexit, the Brexit Party would change its name to the ‘Reform Party’.
In November 2020, it was announced that Nigel Farage had formally applied to the Electoral Commission to re-register the Brexit Party as Reform UK. And as pledged, post Brexit on 31st December 2020, the Brexit Party’s re-registration as Reform UK came into force on 6th January 2021.
In a statement on the party’s website, Nigel Farage described how Reform UK planned to take on ‘bloated institutions’ and ‘major vested interests’.
Amongst the targets identified by Mr Farage were: the House of Lords, the BBC, the way we vote, law and order, and immigration. In his launch statement, Mr Farage, described the decision by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to make his brother a peer, as something that ‘takes cronyism to a whole new level’.
In January 2021, Mr Farage’s new party Reform UK, gained representation in the Scottish Parliament when the former Conservative and then independent MSP, Michelle Ballantyne, joined the new party. Mr Farage swiftly appointed Ms Ballantyne as Reform UK’s leader in Scotland, stating that she would opposed the SNP’s “woke agenda” in Scotland.
However, in March 2021, Nigel Farage announced that he was standing down as the Leader of Reform UK. Mr Farage stated that, “party politics, campaigning, being involved in elections, that is now over for me because I’ve achieved the one thing I set out to do: to achieve the independence of the UK.”
Beyond Brexit, Farage is an outspoken supporter of further constitutional reform. Farage has argued in favour of a reformed House of Lords and a more representative electoral system. In 2015, Farage described the first-past-the-post system as ‘bankrupt’.
Farage has previously cast doubt on the science behind climate change and has opposed measures designed to tackle global warming. The 2015 UKIP manifesto stated, ‘the Climate Change Act is doing untold damage. UKIP will repeal it’. In a phone-in show on LBC Radio, which Farage hosted from 2016-2020, the then-Brexit party leader criticised Prince Charles and Greta Thunberg for promoting ‘alarmism’ in relation to the issue.
Farage has insisted that he doesn’t want to privatise the NHS, but he has said he would like to see ‘better-off’ people taking out private health insurance to cut the burden on taxpayers.
In one of the 2015 General Election debates, the UKIP Leader expressed his anger that ‘You can come into Britain from anywhere in the world and get diagnosed with HIV and get the retro-viral drugs that cost up to £25,000 per year per patient’. ‘What we need’, Farage continued, ‘is to put the NHS there for British people and families’.
Nigel Farage – How many times has he stood for Parliament?
- Nigel Farage has stood for Parliament on seven occasions. He has never won, but as per the below, he did gradually improve his share of the vote:
- Eastleigh, by-election 1994: finished 4th; 1.7% of the vote – Lost deposit (£500)
- Salisbury, General Election 1997: finished 4th; 5.7% of the vote – Regained deposit
- Bexhill and Battle, General Election 2001: finished 4th; 7.8% of the vote – Regained deposit
- South Thanet, General Election 2005: finished 4th; 5.0% of the vote – Regained deposit (just)
- Bromley and Chislehurst, by-election 2006: finished 3rd; 8.1% of the vote – Regained deposit
- Buckingham, by-election 2010: finished 3rd; 17.4% of the vote – Regained deposit
- South Thanet, General Election 2015: finished 2nd; 32.4% of the vote – Regained deposit
Nigel Farage and Donald Trump
In 2016, Farage travelled to the US to discuss ‘freedom and winning’ with then-President-elect Donald Trump. Farage had previously helped Trump campaign in the lead-up to the 2016 Presidential election, even attending the 2016 Republican National Convention to spread the ‘Brexit gospel’.
At a 2020 campaign rally for Trump Supporters in Arizona, Farage called the President the ‘single most resilient and bravest person I have ever met in my life’.
Is Nigel Farage a Conservative?
Nigel Farage was a member of the Tory party from 1987-1993. He left after John Major’s signed the Maastricht Treaty which furthered European integration.
Brushes with Death
In his early 20s, Farage was hit by a car in Orpington, Kent, following a night out at the pub. He was severely injured and told he might lose his leg.
In 2010, Farage survived a plane crash when a light aircraft nose-dived during an election flight as it was towing a ‘Vote UKIP’ banner in his electoral contest against then Commons Speaker, John Bercow. Farage subsequently suffered from broken ribs and a punctured lung.
In 1986, Farage was diagnosed with testicular cancer which, he described in a 2015 biography, left one of his testicles as ‘the size of a lemon’..
Nigel Farage Cameo
Nigel Fage can also be found on the greetings website, ‘Cameo’.
Monetizing his celebrity status, he was available for bookings for £75 He will accordingly record a very short video message for you. John Bercow, can also be found on the site, but he is more expensive than Nigel Farage, at £82.50.
Mr Farage has previously been tricked by people on Cameo. Farage has said he did not realise that he was citing an Irish republican message when he read out a birthday message that included the slogan “Up the ’Ra!”. “The ‘Ra” is shorthand slang for the Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Farage is a father of four and has been married twice. Farage reportedly met his first wife, Gráinne Hayes when she was his nurse following his Orpington car accident.
Farage remarried in 1999 to German-born Kirsten Mehr. Ms Mehr said in an interview in 2017: ‘My husband and I have lived separate lives for some years and he moved out of the family home a while ago’.
Life before politics
Farage was educated at Dulwich College in south London. Deciding not to go to university, Farage initially followed his father into commodities trading.
Twitter – @Nigel_Farage