Nigel Farage is raising a pirate flag of revolt against a listing Conservative party, says Andrew Marr

3 June 2024, 17:48 | Updated: 4 June 2024, 08:14

Nigel Farage announce that he will become the new leader of Reform UK and that he will stand as the parliamentary candidate for Clacton
Nigel Farage announce that he will become the new leader of Reform UK and that he will stand as the parliamentary candidate for Clacton. Picture: Alamy
Andrew Marr

By Andrew Marr

Tonight, British politics changed.

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It wasn’t just because Nigel Farage announced that he was after all going to be the reform UK Parliamentary candidate in Clacton.

It wasn’t just because he has taken over from Richard Tice tonight as his party’s leader.

It’s because he has raised a pirate flag of revolt against the Conservative party – he is really standing to be leader of the opposition after the labour victory he predicts as certain.

And he now thinks that reform UK will get more votes than the Tory party.

Because of our electoral system that will probably result only in a small number of actual MPs but his intention is clearly to tap in into a mood of deep disillusion with the political class and replace the conservatives either from the outside or by takeover.

Although he talked about Tax and the fact that nothing works, and that we are as a country in moral decline, his central theme is the familiar one – immigration.

He said that under the Tories 2.4 million people had been able to enter the country; as a result reform voters were never going back to the Conservatives.

This is an existential challenge to the Tory party. Farage is raising the pirate flag against a listing, leaking galleon.

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