Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
4 July 2016

Nigel Farage stands down as Ukip leader declaring “I couldn’t have achieved more“

The Eurosceptic still intends to speak in the EU Parliament.

By Julia Rampen

Nigel Farage is standing down as leader of Ukip just over a week after Britain voted to leave the European Union.

Farage told Sky News: “I have never been and never wanted to be a career politician.”

His aim has always been to quit the EU, he said, and: “That is why I now feel that I’ve done my bit. That I couldn’t possibly achieve more than we managed to get in that referendum and so I feel it’s right I should now stand aside as leader of UKIP.”

Farage’s last major public appearance was attacking MEPs for “not doing a proper job” and being asked in response: “Why are you still here?”

But they shouldn’t celebrate – Farage said he still intends to comment in the EU Parliament “from time to time” and help other Eurosceptic parties. 

Select and enter your email address Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.

And claiming that the EU referendum could not have been won without UKIP, he said now “the real me will come out”. 

For all Farage’s bullish talk of British independence, his resignation speech hinted some deference to his German-born wife.

He admitted politics “does come at a cost” to “those around me”. 

And he ended: “During the EU referendum I said I want my country back and what I’m saying today is I want my life back. And it begins right now. Thank you.”

Farage’s decision to step back into the shadows will be welcomed by Tory Remain campaigners, who tried to distance themselves from his claims that the Leave vote was a victory “for decent people”. 

His dog-whistle campaign techniques came to a head in the week before the vote, when he unveiled a campaign poster showing a line of refugees and declaring Britain was “at breaking point”. Hours later, the MP and refugee rights campaigner Jo Cox was gunned down in the street. 

Referring to the spike in reports of racist incidents after the Leave vote, Farage acknowledged “some terrible things have happened” but said “there has been some pretty bad behaviour on both sides”. 

He said those who had come to the country legally needed reassurance that they had fully protected rights.

The Staggers is now on Facebook! You can like the page here.

Topics in this article :