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Farage 'would consider Labour deal'

Nigel Farage has made it clear that he would be ready to do a deal with Labour if Ukip holds the balance of power after next year's general election, but said "It wouldn't be easy".

The Ukip leader has previously said that he would "do a deal with the devil" in order to secure British exit from the European Union.

Speaking on LBC radio, he made clear that any agreement to go into coalition or support a minority government would depend on the parliamentary arithmetic produced by the election next May, rather than by his political sympathy with either of the major parties.

While insisting that he disagreed with Labour leader Ed Miliband on most subjects, Mr Farage said he would be ready to "do a deal with somebody that I otherwise wouldn't normally do" if it meant restoring the UK's ability to govern itself.

"We are facing, in four-and-a-half months' time, the most uncertain general election that we've seen for many, many decades in this country," said Mr Farage.

"All the balls are up in the air, chiefly because of the effect Ukip has had on politics.

"Either the Conservatives or the Labour Party will emerge as the biggest party after that election.

"Given our constitutional history and precedent, the monarch would expect the larger of the two parties to attempt to form either a formal coalition or some kind of support mechanism or deal where you can actually have a government there that can get a Budget through Parliament.

"If we find ourselves - and it's an if, of course it is - in a position where we actually do hold the balance of power, whilst everybody thinks it's more likely that it's David Cameron who would need Ukip support, it's not absolutely impossible that it could be Ed Miliband.

"But I disagree with almost everything Mr Miliband stands for and it wouldn't be easy."

Challenged over whether his personal political career would be enhanced by a Labour victory, as it would see off the prospect of the in/out referendum promised by David Cameron and ensure that Europe remained a dividing line in British politics, Mr Farage responded: " I couldn't care less about being in the European Parliament, I couldn't care less about being Ukip leader, I couldn't care less about political parties. I'm not interested in any of this stuff.

"I got into politics from business because I thought something had fundamentally gone wrong - namely that we had given up our ability to govern our own country.

"I want my country back. I want us to get back self-government, the ability to make our laws and control our borders. And if I have to do a deal with somebody that I otherwise wouldn't normally do, if it achieves that goal, I will do it."

Mr Farage said he "hasn't got a clue" which will be the biggest party in Parliament following the May election.

Mr Farage defended Ukip's decision to bid for £1.5 million from the European Union by forming a new pan-European party, the Alliance for Direct Democracy in Europe (ADDE).

He told LBC: "There are now European political parties funded by the European taxpayer - which of course means that about a fifth of that is from the British taxpayer.

"Nearly all of the parties that have been set up are pro-European Union and will use that money to propagate a pro-EU message.

"If Ukip doesn't join a European political party, then all of the money will go to the pro-EU side. By us forming one, we take some of their weapons away from them.

"The effect of Ukip doing this does not cost the taxpayer a single extra penny piece. If it did, we would not do it."

Mr Farage said he had adopted the same principle of accepting EU money in order to fund the propagation of his anti-EU message ever since he became an MEP in 1999, adding that most commentators would agree it had been a success.

Responding to a jibe from Nick Clegg that Ukip was "just a movement of angry blokes", Mr Farage told LBC: "Thus spoke the man from Westminster School and vast wealth and the European College in Bruges.

"That's perhaps how he does look at it. If he looked a bit more closely, what he would see is that we had seven women elected to the European Parliament in May this year, without using all-female shortlists.

"They did it absolutely on merit with no advantage given to them whatsoever. What he would see is a deputy chairman of the party, in Suzanne Evans, who increasingly appears on LBC and elsewhere and brings great credit on the party.

"Nick can abuse us all he likes, I'm not going to return the compliment."

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