Ex-UKIP leader Nigel Farage, 57, could make a return to British politics less than nine months after he handed over the leadership of the rebranded Brexit Party to Richard Tice, also 57. Mr Farage, who joined GB News back in June, is considering making the move following the Government’s failure to tackle the ongoing migrant crisis.
Recent figures from the Home Office show three times as many migrants have reached British shores in 2021 than did so in 2020 – with the overall figure exceeding 25,700.
The Telegraph’s chief political correspondent Christopher Hope, 50, revealed on Twitter: “Nigel Farage is mulling a political comeback.”
Mr Hope, who suggested the UK manufacture a commemorative 50p to celebrate Britain’s departure from the European Union, reported the former MEP as saying: “I have been approached by several high-ranking donors asking me if I am considering getting back into the political arena.
Mr Farage is said to have added: “My gut instinct is not to do so, but I will have to give it some serious thought.”
The news comes during a difficult time for Boris Johnson, 57, and his Conservative Party.
The Prime Minister’s lead in the opinion polls has been whittled away in recent weeks following accusations of so-called Tory sleaze.
During Mr Farage’s previous attempts to outflank the Conservatives, he has proved to be a thorn in the side of the party’s leaders.
Recent analysis by election experts, including Sir John Curtice, suggests Farage’s Brexit Party cost Mr Johnson an additional 25 Labour seats in the Midlands and north of England in the 2019 General Election.
While the report suggested Mr Farage’s decision to stand down 317 candidates in Tory-held seats had less of an effect on the result, they did stress it “might have helped” some prominent Conservative MPs retain their seats.
They said: “There was just a handful of seats where the decision of the Brexit Party to stand down might have helped avoid a Conservative defeat, though they include the seats of two prominent Brexiters, Iain Duncan Smith (Chingford & Woodford Green) and Dominic Raab (Esher & Walton).”
The return of Mr Farage could also startle the Conservative Party as the ex-Brexit Party leader would be speaking to the concerns of the Tories’ core voters.
Earlier this month, YouGov’s poll tracker found immigration and asylum was the fifth most important issue for British voters at 21 percent – behind only the economy, health, the environment and Brexit.
However, among Conservative and Brexit voters, the issue was considered to be far more significant, with 40 percent of those who voted ‘Leave’ in 2016 and 39 percent of 2019 Tories saying it was the most important issue facing the UK.
But Mr Hope, who joined Farage on his battle-bus during the 2019 EU Election, appeared reluctant to say whether he thought the former UKIP leader would return to frontline politics.
“When the Conservatives start to weaken on their traditionally core values (in this case controlling migration), @Nigel_Farage starts to get twitchy,” he said.
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“Will he make a comeback? Almost certainly not – but I wouldn’t bet against it.”
Speaking to the Sun about the potential move, Mr Farage expressed grave concerns about the way Boris Johnson and his Conservative Government have led the country.
He said: “This was meant to be an era of hope, this was meant to be Brexit Britain.
“It’s not just migrants, it’s Net Zero and taxes, too.”
Farage, who was just 2,812-votes short of being elected the MP for Thanet South in 2015, made electoral history in the 2014 EU Elections when UKIP became the first party since the Liberals in 1910 to win more seats than the Conservatives or Labour in a national election.
Five years later, after Theresa May, 65, failed to take the UK out of the EU, Mr Farage returned to lead the Brexit Party to an even larger victory as the Tory Party fell into a distant fifth place.