Wednesday 21 February 2018

Farage likely to stand for an eighth time

Nigel Farage may stand Picture: Reuters
Nigel Farage may stand Picture: Reuters

Nigel Farage is likely to stand to be an MP for the eighth time in June's general election, the Ukip leader Paul Nuttall has said, as he forecast the party would win a "handful" of seats.

Mr Nuttall last night said: "I suspect Nigel Farage will stand."

Ukip faces a major test of its viability as a political force in the snap general election called by British Prime Minister Theresa May.

The party is apparently facing an existential crisis now that Brexit is all but achieved with the Article 50 exit process triggered last month.

It is also reeling from the resignation from the party of its only MP, Douglas Carswell, and the failure of leader Mr Nuttall to beat Labour in the recent by-election in Stoke-on-Trent Central, which he dubbed "the capital of Brexit".

Mr Nuttall said the party could win a "handful" of seats at the June 8 election.

He said: "We are looking to win seats. A handful is achievable."

A senior Ukip figure tried to play down the party's chances, saying that winning 8pc of the vote share and two MPs "would be a hell of a good achievement".

Sources said that it was "unlikely" the party would not stand candidates against pro-Brexit Conservative candidates.

Mr Nuttall, who is expected to stand, is due to hold a major meeting to discuss election strategy later today.

He said: "We will be well financed for this election."

Irish Independent

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