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Nigel Farage says he will not stand in General Election

Sky News logo Sky News 03/11/2019
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Watch: Election gives chance to 'hit reset' on Brexit, Farage says (Sky)

Nigel Farage has said he will not stand as an MP in the upcoming election.

The Brexit Party leader, who has said he will field 600 candidates in seats across the UK, told the BBC's Andrew Marr programme that he believed his cause was better served by travelling around the country.

Mr Farage was unsuccessful in each of his seven attempts to run for parliament as a UKIP candidate. Nigel Farage wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera: Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage © PA Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage

He said: "I've thought about it very hard. I thought 'How do I serve the cause of Brexit best?' Because that is what I am doing this for - not for my career, not to be in politics for the rest of my life.

"Do I find a seat? Try to get myself into parliament? Do I serve the cause better traversing the length and breadth of the United Kingdom supporting the 600 candidates?

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"And I've decided the latter is the right one."

Mr Farage said he was determined to travel around Britain to explain to people what Boris Johnson's Brexit deal will mean for the country.

He added: "I want people to know, whether they are told they're going to 'get Brexit done' by Christmas or whatever Boris Johnson is saying this morning, they need to understand that, actually, what is on offer is a close linkage with the European institutions, the next negotiations will go on for three years...

"I'm going out across the country, starting tomorrow."

Mr Farage has been an member of European Parliament since 1999, representing South East England.

After quitting as leader of UKIP in 2016 following the EU referendum, he left the party in 2018 and went on to form the Brexit Party.

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Speculation about whether Mr Farage would commit to a full field of candidates or announce a more targeted push in Leave-leaning seats was rife in Westminster before the launch of his party's campaign on Friday.

During the launch, he issued an ultimatum to the prime minister - that the Brexit Party would stand across Britain unless Boris Johnson scraps the withdrawal agreement he secured with Brussels, giving him two weeks to decide.

In an interview with Sky's Sophy Ridge, the prime minister rejected the offer outright.

A confidential Tory election dossier obtained by Sky News detailing the "attack messages" candidates are expected to use aims to counter the electoral threat posed by Mr Farage acknowledging people "might like what the Brexit Party say", but warning a vote for them will "let Labour and the Lib Dems in".

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