Nigel Farage 'probably would' run for Parliament again if fraud probe sparks by-election in South Thanet

Francesca Gillett
Nigel Farage stood in South Thanet in 2015 but was defeated by the Conservatives: PA Archive/PA Images

Ex-Ukip leader Nigel Farage has said he “probably would” stand again in the Kent constituency of South Thanet if a by-election was held.

The anti-EU campaigner stood in the constituency in the 2015 general election but was defeated by the Conservatives.

But Kent Police and the Electoral Commission are now investigating whether the Conservatives broke the law by failing to properly declare expenses related to their election campaign.

According to the Mail On Sunday, Mr Farage's election strategist Chris Bruni-Lowe has passed a dossier to police containing details of computer logs accessed by Ukip's only MP Douglas Carswell, who defected to the party from the Conservatives.

It claims that Mr Carswell passed details about local voters to the Tories to help them defeat Mr Farage - an allegation he strongly denies.

Nigel Farage, the former leader of Ukip. (REUTERS)

Mr Farage, who has a long-running feud with the Clacton MP, said there was "evidence" that Mr Carswell downloaded information but there was nothing to prove what he did with it.

The former party leader told BBC One's Sunday Politics: "I don't know anything about the dossier.

"I am actually quite dubious as to whether this dossier exists at all. I think perhaps the newspapers have got this wrong.

"Were there concerns about the downloading of data that took place from that constituency? Yes. But beyond that we don't know anything.

"We have evidence that Mr Carswell downloaded information. We have no evidence of what he did with it."

The South Thanet seat was won by Tory Craig Mackinlay.

Asked if he would stand in a by-election prompted by the investigation, Mr Farage replied: "I probably would."

Mr Carswell said: "I am not commenting but I very strongly deny it."

Reporting by Press Association.

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