Nigel Farage becomes Reform UK leader and will stand for seat in general election

Nigel Farage has become the leader of Reform UK
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)

Nigel Farage has become the leader of Reform UK and announced he will stand in the general election.

Mr Farage, who is the honorary president of the Reform Party, will assume the leadership from Richard Tice, following an announcement today. He said he will stand for the seat of Clacton in Essex.

Earlier today, the man who used to lead UKIP and the Brexit Party, sparked speculation when it was announced he'd be making an 'emergency announcement' about the election at 4pm.

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Mr Farage has stood for election to the House of Commons on seven previous occasions, at five general elections and in two by-elections. He lost each time by a significant margin.

In May, he made it clear he was not intending to stand in the July 4 poll, saying he would instead be focussed on the United States Presidential race, where he has a close bond with Republican candidate Donald Trump.

He said at that point he remained fully supportive of Reform UK and their leader Richard Tice and urged voters across the country to back the party.

Speaking at a press conference today, Mr Tice said he wanted to turn on the "turbo boosters" for his party's campaign and said he would do this by asking Mr Farage to take over the party's leadership.

He said: "The big question is, does Nigel want to stand? Well actually I would like to invite Nigel to be leader of Reform UK. To my delight, he accepted."

Mr Farage said he felt the rational thing was for him not to stand as there was not enough time for him to gather data and campaign - but to do "his bit and support the party." But he said he has been encouraged to come back after meeting people across the country.

He added: "After 30 years of experience, something is happening out there. There is a rejection of the political class going on in this country in a way that has not been seen in modern times."

He said he was repeatedly asked by members of the public why he wasn't standing. He added: "I couldn't help feeling that they felt I was letting them down."

"I have decided that I have changed my mind. It's allowed you know, it is not always a sign of weakness. So I am going to stand in this election in the Essex seaside town of Clacton."

The new Reform leader said he will launch his campaign in Clacton tomorrow (Tuesday).

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