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Key quotes as Brexit Party tops UK’s European election results

Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party has emerged as a big winner in the elections.

Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party emerged as a big winner on a terrible night for the Conservatives and Labour (Andrew Matthews/PA)
Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party emerged as a big winner on a terrible night for the Conservatives and Labour (Andrew Matthews/PA)

How key figures have reacted to the UK’s European election results so far.

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage: “Never before in British politics has a new party launched just six weeks ago topped the polls in a national election.

“The reason of course is very obvious: we voted to leave in a referendum, we were supposed to do so on March 29 and we haven’t.

“There’s a huge message here, massive message here – the Labour and Conservative parties could learn a big lesson from tonight – though I don’t suppose that they actually will.”

Foreign Secretary and Tory leadership hopeful Jeremy Hunt: “Yes, we knew it was coming but still a painful result. Existential risk to our party unless we now come together and get Brexit done.”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn: “With the Conservatives disintegrating and unable to govern, and parliament deadlocked, this issue will have to go back to the people, whether through a general election or a public vote.

“Over the coming days we will have conversations across our party and movement, and reflect on these results on both sides of the Brexit divide.

“We will not let the continuing chaos in the Conservative Party push our country into a No Deal exit from the EU.”

Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry: “We should have said, quite simply, that any deal that comes out of this government should be put to a confirmatory referendum and that remain should be on the ballot paper and that Labour would campaign to remain.”

Liberal Democrats leader Sir Vince Cable: “A brilliant set of EU results so far for the @LibDems. Making gains around the country with some really impressive swings in many seats.

“Proof that the Lib Dems are the biggest, strongest voice of Remain.”

Change UK leader Heidi Allen: “The Brexit Party may well do well in this election tonight but they don’t have any MPs in the House of Commons.

“It is MPs who hold the decision-making responsibility on what happens (on Brexit).

“Twice already we have categorically voted down no-deal. There’s no way on earth no-deal will pass the House of Commons.”

Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon: “Outstanding results so far tonight for @theSNP – on course for our best ever Euro election result. Polling way ahead of any other party. Higher % in Scotland than Brexit Party’s current share in UK. Emphatically clear that Scotland doesn’t want Brexit.”

Newly elected Brexit Party MEP Annunziata Rees-Mogg, sister of Jacob: “I have no doubt he will be devastated at what has been done to his own party, the Conservatives.

“Theresa May has betrayed the British people. She made a lot of promises she didn’t stick to and unfortunately the whole party is paying for it.”

Ann Widdecombe, elected for the Brexit Party in South West England: “The night reaffirms the vote of 2016, because there was only one reason for voting for the Brexit Party and that was if you wanted a Brexit.

“Therefore we will go forward determined that is what we are going to achieve. And when we go to Brussels we will say that because of our showing in these elections, and the fact that we so clearly speak for the people, that we want a role in the negotiations, that is what we will be asking for.”

Labour’s David Martin, the UK’s longest-serving MEP who lost his seat in Scotland: “While obviously personally disappointed to lose my seat I’m devastated for the hundreds of good Labour people who put so much into the campaign. We lost not because of lack of effort but lack of clear message.”

Matteo Salvini, Italian deputy prime minister and leader of the right-wing League party: “Not only is the League the first party in Italy, but also Marine Le Pen is the first party in France, Nigel Farage is the first party in the UK. Therefore, Italy, France, UK – it is the sign of a Europe that is changing.”

PA

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