James O'Brien is Leading Britain's Conversation.
20 April 2017, 20:01
Nigel Farage Reveals Why He Will Not Stand In The General Election
Nigel Farage reveals the full reason why he will not stand in June's General Election.
Nigel Farage used his nightly LBC show to explain in full why he will not stand as a candidate in June’s General Election.
The former Ukip leader and MEP said his time would be better spent influencing Brexit in the European Parliament rather than on a backbench in the House of Commons.
The huge announcement came amid speculation Nigel would stand in the Eurosceptic seaside town of Clacton-on-Sea after former Ukip MP Douglas Carswell announced he would not seek re-election.
Although Nigel said he had thought long and hard about putting his name forward, he told his LBC listeners: "I've been weighing up for the last couple of days what best do I do?
"Would it be right to fight and win a constituency and sit on the back benches in Westminster, or do I think about the fact that I already have a position as leader of a group in the European Parliament?
"I'm the only one out of 508 million people sitting on that front bench who is opposed to the whole concept of a European Union, where not only can I get up and make speeches and criticise either what they're doing or indeed what the British government is doing in the negotiations... but I've also got a big profile on the big stage with media European media across all 28 member states.
He continued: "I thought to myself, sitting as a backbench MP being called by John Bercow twice a year for PMQs or having a chance once or twice every month to be on the front row to be up close and personal with Jean-Claude Juncker, Donald Tusk and all the rest of them - in terms of a stage there's no comparison."
Nigel added that he would put pressure on MEPs from the remaining 27 EU nations to ensure Britain is given the best post-Brexit deal in 2019.
He said: "We are their best export market in the world and I believe that by using my, what some may say fame, others may say notoriety, but I've got a chance to travel round those big European cities and to say to people don't vote, don't support any MEPs who are standing for re-election who will block Britain having a sensible free trade deal exit."
The LBC presenter finished by stating he would continue to give his full backing to Ukip and the party's current leader Paul Nuttall.