Nigel Farage won't stand in UK election so he can help US campaign

23 May 2024, 08:18 | Updated: 23 May 2024, 13:15

Nigel Farage has said he will not be making a return to British politics after a general election was called.

The Reform UK honorary president and former UKIP leader said he had thought "long and hard" as to whether he should stand to become an MP in the 4 July general election announced on Wednesday, but said "it is not the right time".

Mr Farage said although the general election is important, the United States election in November "has huge global significance" so he has chosen to "help with the grassroots campaign" there as a "strong America...is vital for our peace and security".

He has helped Donald Trump's campaign since 2016.

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Reform UK leader Richard Tice told Sky News Mr Farage will still help with their election campaign, which he is "absolutely thrilled" with, and said the Reform co-founder will be "very busy" during the campaign.

Moments later, Mr Farage retweeted a social media post saying he is quitting his GB News show during the campaign so he can canvass for Reform UK.

Brexiteer Mr Farage said the choice between Labour and the Conservatives in the UK "is uninspiring, and only Reform have the radical agenda that is needed to end decline in this country".

Mr Farage, a former I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here contestant, said he is "fully supportive" of Reform UK leader Richard Tice and urged voters "to put their trust in him and Lee Anderson", the party's only MP.

He has stood to be an MP for various parties seven times but has lost each by significant margins.

Now a TV personality, he was an MEP in Europe from 1999 to 2020 from where he was a vocal critic of the EU and led the charge for Brexit.

In 2021, he resigned as leader of Reform to focus on a TV career as a presenter on GB News.

At the same time, he has been building up a career in the US, helping the Trump campaign in 2016 and speaking at his rallies.

In 2020, Mr Farage was exempted from the US travel ban during COVID due to "national interest" so he could help Mr Trump prepare for his election rallies.

In 2021, he went on a six-week tour of the US entitled "America's Comeback Tour", where he addressed Republican grassroots audiences across the country.