Nigel Farage launched ‘The Brexit Party’ today after claiming the UK electorate feel ‘betrayed’ by the failure to deliver EU withdrawal.
The former UKIP leader launched the party in Coventry on Friday morning - with Annunziata Rees-Mogg, sister of Eurosceptic MP Jacob Rees-Mogg, announced as the party’s first candidate in the European parliamentary elections.
Mr Farage said he planned to lead The Brexit Party into European Parliament elections next month.
The EU elections will be held on 23rd May. Our first candidate to be announced is @zatzi Annunziata Rees-Mogg!— The Brexit Party (@brexitparty_uk) April 12, 2019
Brexit is being betrayed, it's time to send a clear message to the establishment. pic.twitter.com/F8B9TC5qhj
Speaking at the launch, Ms Rees-Mogg said: "I'm here today in sadness.
"Our democracy has been so betrayed that I have felt the need to be here."
She said: "I joined the Conservative Party in 1984 and this is not a decision I have made lightly - to leave a party for which I have fought at every election since 1987, from Maggie Thatcher through to Theresa May.
"I know which one I'd rather have representing us now."
Mr Farage has already vowed to take votes from ‘tarnished’ UKIP, who he says have been ‘taken over’ by the far right.
He said: “There’s a demand for a new party is there?
“In some ways I can scarcely believe I’m doing this.
The Brexit Party will have the same policies as Ukip but will be distanced from the far right, Mr Farage claimed.
“In terms of policy, there’s no difference, but in terms of personnel there is a vast difference,” he told the Today programme.
“Ukip did struggle to get enough good people into it but unfortunately what it’s chosen to do is allow the far right to join it and take it over and I’m afraid the brand is now tarnished.”
When asked about former Brexit Party leader Catherine Blaiklock, who quit after journalists revealed she had sent racist posts and retweeted those of far-right figures before joining the Brexit Party, he said she was “an administrator”.
He said: “I set the party up, she was the administrator that got it set up.”
Mr Farage said he would stand for his new Brexit Party in the European Parliament elections next month.
“I’ll be leading the Brexit Party into those European elections as it now looks certain they will happen,” he told Sky News.
“Am I happy about it? No I’m not – actually I’ve got many other things in my life I’d like to do, I thought we’d won the Brexit battle but I’m not going to after 25 years of endeavour watch British politicians roll us over.
“This is the fightback and they’re going to be very surprised by what they get.”
Speaking about how he believes the Brexit Party would fare in the European elections, Mr Farage said: “I went to the bookmakers this morning.
“This morning I have put a thousand pounds on the Brexit Party in the European elections at the odds of three to one.”