Nigel Farage on Newsnight: ‘Brexit has failed’
Nigel Farage has given another hint at a comeback to British politics, ominously warning that if a moderate populist like him doesn’t channel voters’ anger they could end up backing an extremist far-right party like the BNP.
Speaking to the Spectator, the former Brexit Party leader said he may be forced to return to frontline politics to prevent the rise of a “Nick Griffin Mark II”.
Mr Farage believes that such is the anger among many voters at both the Tories and Labour, a huge “anger gap” has opened up on issues like immigration.
He warned that people have forgotten how popular the BNP became in parts of the north of England between 2005 and 2010, and it was only the rise of UKIP in subsequent years that channelled angry voters away from the extremist party.
Mr Farage has previously floated a return to frontline British politics, however openly admits that a combination of exhaustion from leading both UKIP and the Brexit Party to national election victories, and the problems of trying to win Westminster seats as an insurgent party – UKIP won 4 million votes in 2015 but returned just one MP – are making him think twice.
The Spectator asked Mr Farage whether he’ll return in light of “the space opening up to the right of Rishi Sunak, particularly on immigration”.
He said the space was “bigger” than just immigration, saying, for example, the betrayal of 5.5 million sole traders by IR35 rules is causing “loathing” of the Tory party.
“I think the sense of detachment – that the conversations happening in Westminster are so far removed from ordinary people’s lives… – the gap that is opening up in British politics on the centre-right is potentially bigger than it was in UKIP, I mean it’s a very big gap.”
“The potential is there, and something or someone at some point is going to fill it – I call it an ‘anger gap’ – now it depends who fills that anger gap.”
Mr Farage says he hopes his previous role in British politics was to provide a “positive way” of filling the “anger gap”.
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However he warns that should he fail to make a return, and the two major parties keep letting down voters – an extremist party will fill the gap.
“It’s very easy to forget, between 2005 and 2010, the extent to which the BNP were laying down roots in those northern town councils etc.”
Mr Farage added he feels “that a large chunk of the country deserves some representation and deserves a voice”.
He clarified he hasn’t yet decided what his plans are, “but if it’s not me, it’ll be a Nick Griffin Mark II”.
“We will have a rise of something way out on the right. It’s happening as we speak all over Europe. Something is going to change, something is going to crack.”
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