Nigel Farage has announced that he is stepping back from frontline politics and standing down as leader of Reform UK.
Farage never won a seat in the UK Parliament but served as a Member of the European Parliament between 1999 and 2020. He also served as the leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), as the President of Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy, and as the Leader of Reform UK (previously known as the Brexit Party).
Since the early 1990s, Farage has been a prominent Eurosceptic and was a key figure in the 2016 EU Referendum campaign to leave the European Union. Since the Brexit vote, Farage has remained vocal about the UK’s departure, setting up the Brexit Party in 2019.
Now called Reform UK, the leadership of the party will be handed over to Richard Tice, the party’s current Chairman. Mr Farage will take up the position in the party as Honorary President. He said that now was the right time to step down, ahead of the campaign for the local elections this May;
“As the elections in May now look likely to be taking place, I’ve been reflecting on my role and my life over the course of the next few years.
“Whilst I was always interested in current affairs, I had never intended to be directly involved in politics. I did so for one overwhelming reason; Britain’s membership of the European Union. I had watched the Tory rebels during the Maastricht Rebellion doing their best but, in the end, submitting to party loyalty. I realised that someone had to take up the fight.
“It has not been an easy journey and has come at a great cost to me, but I have no regrets whatsoever. Whilst I do strongly believe in the Reform agenda, I now feel I can do just as much to shift public opinion through media and social media as I can as a campaigning party leader”
Farage, while not elected to high political office in the UK, had a monumental impact on UK politics through his work on building a successful campaign over many years for Britain’s departure from the European Union.
Mr Farage, now aged 56, is not completely retiring and has said that he will continue to “play my part through the media, social media and new projects”.