Nigel Farage quits as Ukip leader

Ukip figurehead says he has achieved his "political ambition" of getting the UK out of the EU.

Nigel Farage | Photo credit: European Parliament audiovisual

By Julie Levy-Abegnoli

04 Jul 2016

Long-time Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage has announced he will step down as leader of the UK Independence Party (Ukip).

This is the third time he has resigned from the post, after previously leading Ukip from 2006 to 2009, and from 2010 to 2015. He stepped down following last year's UK general election, only to return as the party leader a few days later. 

At a press conference on Monday, Farage said, "During the the referendum I said I wanted my country back, now I want my life back."


He added; "The victory for the 'leave' side in the referendum means that my political ambition has been achieved. I came into this struggle from business because I wanted us to be a self-governing nation, not to become a career politician."

"Ukip is in a good position and will continue, with my full support to attract a significant vote. While 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."

A successor is expected to be named by the autumn, when Ukip meets for its party conference.

Nigel Farage will retain his position as an MEP and Chair of Parliament's Eurosceptic Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD) grouping, which counts 46 MEPs from eight member states, although some deputies have called upon him to resign.

Siegfried Muresan, a Romanian EPP group MEP, commented; "Nigel Farage hits and runs. His resignation proves that he does not assume responsibility for trouble he created to British people. Bad."

German deputy Ismael Ertug, of the S&D group, said; "Nigel Farage stepping down as Ukip leader but not hesitating to stick to his seat in the European Parliament and take EU's money. I'd say all or nothing."

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