Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Home News UK

Farage defiant as Ukip's solitary MP quits

By Arj Singh

Ukip's role in British politics is "not over by a long shot" despite the resignation of the party's sole MP Douglas Carswell, Nigel Farage has claimed.

Mr Carswell sensationally quit the party on Saturday, insisting it was "job done" now that the UK has backed Brexit in last June's referendum.

The resignation prompted Labour and the Liberal Democrats to declare that Ukip now had no purpose and no future.

But Mr Farage said: "The point about Ukip is what terms we leave the European Union under."

And he claimed that the party had already forced concessions on the Government.

He also pointed to reports that ministers were considering proposals to allow EU nationals who are resident in the UK when Theresa May triggers Article 50 on Wednesday to continue to receive child benefits for families back home as one example of something Ukip will oppose.

"Winning a war is very, very important but also you have to win the peace, the peace is far from won," the former Ukip leader told Sky News's Sophy Ridge on Sunday.

"Already I can see with this Government concessions being made over fishing, the desire of the Prime Minister to stay part of the European Arrest Warrant. This is not over by a long shot.

"With no MPs we forced a referendum in this country.

"In many ways, outside Parliament Ukip's achievement has been astonishing." Mr Carswell is resisting calls to trigger a by-election in his Clacton seat, insisting he does not need to as he has not rejoined the Tories, nor switched allegiances to another party.

But Mr Farage's ally and Ukip's biggest financial backer Arron Banks has said Mr Carswell must call a vote, and has promised to stand against him.

Mr Carswell told ITV's Peston On Sunday programme he joined Ukip to secure Brexit and now that had happened he believed it was a case of "job done".

He also rejected the accusation he had jumped before being pushed.

"Not at all," he said. "There were no formal disciplinary proceedings but it's probably the case that the NEC (national executive committee) was going to meet to have a grumble, but they have been doing that about me pretty consistently for the past couple of years, so no change there."

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph