Nigel Farage has told Andrew Neil’s Daily Politics show that he would ‘probably’ stand for UKIP if the Tories’ dirty tricks during the General Election forced a by-election in South Thanet.
During today’s interview, Neil said that if electoral fraud were ‘substantial’ enough to declare the result void and if it were to result in a by-election, would Farage stand for UKIP? “I probably would,” was the response, “but winning seats in Parliament is not the only way to change politics,” he continued. “I’d like to think I proved that.”
Nigel refused to comment on any evidence of breaches of electoral rules, admitting only that he had ‘concerns’. “Beyond that we don’t know,” he added.
Neil started the interview by asking Nigel about the claim by the EU for €60 billion as a price for the ‘divorce bill’. “I’m concerned that even before we start we’re making concessions,” he said. “I don’t think there’s any appetite in this country to pay a massive divorce bill and €50 or €60 billion is frankly laughable.”
He spoke of the possibility of not agreeing a deal with the EU. “If there is no deal, by the time we get to that there’ll be a General Election coming down the track to us anyway,” he said. “I suspect at the end of this two year process, if Parliament said it would not back the deal, there’d be a General Election very quickly.”
The programme also interviewed MP Anna Soubry, who was asked about the final EU/UK deal. She said: “I fear we could be crashing out [of the EU] in six or nine months because the EU will stoke up the demand for €50 or €60 billion euros back,” she said. “My real concern is that if we are not making much progress and people are getting fed up with the EU, then we could crash out.
“I think the government is putting into place scaffolding at the bottom of the cliff to break our fall for when we come to fall off that cliff and I think many in government are preparing for a fall off the cliff in six to nine months.”
Nigel, who was listening, said that was a ‘lovely thought’. “But Anna is a bit out of date with this. Forty years ago there was a good argument for joining the Common Market. All of that has changed with the Word Trade Organisation. We’re leaving the EU and rejoining a great big world out there. It’s terribly exciting!”