James Forsyth James Forsyth

Exclusive: Nigel Farage doesn’t want to lead the Out campaign

Nigel Farage has told The Spectator that he doesn’t want to lead the Out campaign come an EU referendum. In an interview, he said, ‘It needs a figurehead and I’m a warrior not a figurehead.’

Farage believes that if Ukip win the European Elections then a referendum will be inevitable. He says that come the referendum, he will play his part ‘I’m a fixed bayonet man, albeit that I don’t see myself as a private. But I see myself leading a division into battle, that’s where I fit in.’

The Ukip leader wants someone who ‘someone who has been very big in British politics’ to take charge of the No campaign, though Farage doesn’t give any clue as to who that person is. He does, though, say that ‘he regards the Labour MP Frank Field and the former Tory Chairman David Davis as key figures for the Out campaign when the time comes.

Farage’s decision not to run the Out campaign will come as a relief to some Eurosceptics. If the Out campaign is to get to fifty one percent of the vote, it is going to need to be able to reach out far beyond the Ukip vote. Farage is a highly effective politician but he is also a polarising one and a campaign he was the face of would struggle to do that.

You can read the whole interview with Farage in The Spectator which is out tomorrow​

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