Nigel Farage: "From now on, I'm really going to speak my mind"

Ukip's most successful leader bows out. 

NS

Sign Up

Get the New Statesman's Morning Call email.

You might not have realised it, but Nigel Farage was watching his words when he called the former Chancellor George Osborne a “pasty-faced bastard”.

The outgoing leader of Ukip told the audience at his party conference he had “put absolutely all of me” into building up the party. 

He declared that he was getting his life back: “From now on, I'm really going to speak my mind.”

One place he may do this is by returning for a second appearance alongside controversial Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, he hinted. 

Farage will continue to lead Ukip in the European Parliament, and offered help and advice to the new leader, who will be announced today. 

He hit out at Ukip’s National Executive Committee, which decided to bar frontrunner Steven Woolfe from the leadership contest on a technicality. 

He said the party’s success meant it had attracted “people into the party who perhaps don’t do it for altruistic reasons” but rather their political careers. He declared: “We have to change the management structures."

Although Farage did not name names, on Thursday he publicly attacked Ukip’s only MP, Douglas Carswell, saying: “He doesn’t seem to support anything Ukip stands for.”

Farage described Brexit as a “fairytale that had come true” and warned the Government could prioritise access to the EU single market over immigration control. 

“The only mechanism to put pressure on the Government… is for Ukip to be healthy and Ukip to be strong,” he said. 

 

Julia Rampen is the digital news editor of the New Statesman (previously editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog). She has also been deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines.