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20 April 2017, 20:01
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.