Nigel Farage’s I’m A Celebrity popularity will boost our election hopes, says Reform leader

Nigel Farage on I'm a Celebrity
Mr Farage's performance reaching the final of the show is proof 'he’s in touch with the people' says Mr Tice

Nigel Farage will be able to help Reform UK plan for a possible early election after reaching the final of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!, the leader of the party has said.

Richard Tice said Mr Farage now had “the most remarkable platform” to affect political change after his participation in the ITV reality show.

The former Ukip leader, who is the honorary life president of Reform, which is to the Right of the Conservatives, came third in Sunday night’s final of the jungle-based television contest.

Mr Farage received an estimated record £1.5 million appearance fee and his popularity among the show’s viewers has fuelled speculation in Westminster about a return to the political fray.

Mr Tice said: “What Nigel getting into the final has shown is that he’s in touch with the people and the people like him, unlike most politicians in Westminster who are completely out of touch with the people and disliked by the people.

“This provides the most remarkable platform for him to come and help save Britain in what will be an immigration election.”

Recent splits in Conservative ranks over the Rwanda Bill proposed by Rishi Sunak have led to suggestions that he could go to the country as soon as spring.

‘Full-on planning’ for election

Asked whether he would want to see Mr Farage “front and centre” of Reform’s general election campaign next year, Mr Tice replied: “Of course, absolutely.  The more help the better.

“We are full-on planning for an early spring election, we have to be. It doesn’t look to me like Sunak can hold this together much longer – most of the public are furious about the betrayal on lawful immigration.”

Despite pledges from successive Conservative governments to bring down the number of arrivals, net migration hit a record high of 745,000 in the year to December 2022.

Those close to Mr Farage are said to believe his appearance on the programme has “worked wonders” for his public image.

It has seen him clash with fellow campmates over Brexit, take part in the show’s annual Celebrity Cyclone obstacle course and perform the Right Said Fred song I’m Too Sexy while opening his shirt.

His time in the Australian outback came as Reform enjoyed a surge in support, with recent polls showing they are now backed by one in 10 voters.

Analysis by the polling firm More In Common for The Telegraph last week showed the party’s growth in support could cost the Conservatives up to 35 seats, handing Labour a majority in parliament.