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General Election – latest: Farage becomes leader and stands for Reform UK in Clacton

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Related video: Diane Abbott ignores media outside London home as she accuses Keir Starmer of ‘culling left-wingers’

Nigel Farage has become the leader of Reform UK and will be standing for Parliament in the general election.

In a press conference on Monday afternoon, the former UKIP leader confirmed reports he is going to stand for Clacton, Essex. Mr Farage had until Friday to submit his name as a candidate to stand for MP.

Announcing his candidacy, Mr Farage said there is a “rejection of the political class going on in this country” and claimed the two main parties are very much the same.

It comes after Sir Keir Starmer said the nuclear deterrent is “fundamental” and “a vital part of our defence” during a speech on national security in Greater Manchester.

While the Labour leader noted caution on pressing the nuclear button, he ultimately said, “we have to be prepared to use it.”

And the Tories have pledged to change the Equality Act to define the protected characteristic of sex as “biological sex”. The minister for women and equalities Kemi Badenoch said the change is about “protecting those who are vulnerable”.

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‘I am standing for Clacton,’ Farage announces

Nigel Farage says he is coming back for the next five years as a candidate for Reform UK.

The party leader has confirmed he is standing for the constituency for Clacton.

He says: “I have decided, I’ve changed my mind. It’s allowed you know. It’s not always a sign of weakness it can potentially be a sign of strength.

“So I am going to stand for this election… in the Essex seaside town of Clacton.”

(EPA)

Sam Rkaina3 June 2024 16:18

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No attempt of Reform-Tory electoral pact, Farage claims

Nigel Farage said there had been “no attempt at seduction at all” from the Tories when asked if Reform UK had been approached about a potential electoral pact.

He said he was aiming for “this political party to become the voice of opposition in the next parliament” which he claimed the Conservatives are “incapable” of being.

“There has been no attempt at seduction at all, at least not that I’ve noticed,” he said.

Asked what qualities he thinks he has which Richard Tice lacks, Mr Farage said: “Look, I’ve been doing this longer than Richard… there’s a people’s army out there that I built up over many, many years and they’re still there.

“And they’re very fond of Richard but they know me a little bit better. It’s just as simple as that.”

Athena Stavrou3 June 2024 19:00

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Exclusive: Labour candidate investigated by party for alleged sexual harassment

Salma Ouaguira3 June 2024 18:30

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Tories say Farage ‘doing exactly what Keir Starmer wants him to do’

The Tories said Nigel Farage is “doing exactly what Keir Starmer wants him to do” by entering the General Election fray.

A Conservative Party spokesman said: “Nigel Farage risks handing Keir Starmer a blank cheque to rejoin the EU, impose the retirement tax on pensioners and hike taxes on hardworking Brits up and down the UK.

“Farage knows that Reform won’t win any seats, but he doesn’t seem to care that a vote for Reform only helps Labour. He’s doing exactly what Keir Starmer wants him to do.

“Just yesterday, EU insiders openly voiced their expectation that Starmer would seek a softer Brexit deal, opening the door to rejoining the EU all together. That would mean uncontrolled immigration and betraying the will of the British people.

“Is Farage really willing to risk undoing his life’s work by handing Starmer a blank cheque to rejoin the EU?

“Only a vote for Rishi Sunak and the Conservatives can deliver a clear plan, bold action and a secure future for our country.”

Athena Stavrou3 June 2024 18:15

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New super poll shows Tories heading for election wipeout

Sam Rkaina3 June 2024 18:00

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Reform not projected to win any seats

Right-wing challenger party Reform UK are not projected to win any seats, despite over 300 candidates standing across the UK, according to YouGov’s latest MRP analysis published today.

The party is currently polling at 12 per cent, according to latest Techne polls, but is not on track to win a majority in a single constituency, writes data correspondent Alicja Hagopian.However, the analysis does not factor in today’s shock announcement from Nigel Farage.

The former UKIP head announced he would take over from Richard Tice as leader of Reform UK , and will run as an MP for Clacton, Essex.

Despite YouGov’s projection that the party will win zero seats, Mr Farage remains insistent that Reform will manage to do so, adding:“I think there’s every chance we’ll get more votes than the Conservative Party. I genuinely do.”

It is not yet clear whether Farage’s return to Reform will make an impact on a constituency level, nor whether it will cause a change in the polls.For more updates on latest polling, see our collection of polls here.

Nigel Farage confirms he will stand as Reform UK candidate in general election: ‘I can’t let down millions of people’.
Nigel Farage confirms he will stand as Reform UK candidate in general election: ‘I can’t let down millions of people’. (Reuters)

Alicja Hagopian3 June 2024 17:35

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Labour set to win more seats than Blair in 1997, shock YouGov forecast says

Labour are on course to surpass Tony Blair’s landslide majority in 1997, according to YouGov’s first major poll of the general election campaign.

The pollsters’ MRP forecast, based on data from more than 58,000 people, suggests Sir Keir Starmer’s party will win a huge majority of 194, with some 422 seats, while the Conservatives could suffer their biggest loss since 1906, winning just 140 seats.

Keep up to date with our live polling coverage here.

Athena Stavrou3 June 2024 17:25

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Nigel Farage confirms he will stand as Reform UK candidate in general election: ‘I can’t let down millions of people’

Nigel Farage said he felt like he was letting voters down by not standing in the election, as he announced he will stand for parliament in Clacton and lead Reform UK for the next five years.

“I simply couldn’t help feeling that somehow they felt I was letting them down,” he said at a press conference on Monday.

“I’ve changed my mind. It’s allowed you know, it’s not always a sign of weakness. It could potentially be a sign of strength.

“So I am going to stand in this election. I’ll be launching my candidacy at midday tomorrow in the Essex seaside town of Clacton.”

Athena Stavrou3 June 2024 17:00

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Nigel Farage yawns at the press

The Reform UK leader has just yawned out loud in front of journalists while answering questions.

After apologising, he said: “We’re getting a bit bored here with the right-wing, let’s move.”

Salma Ouaguira3 June 2024 16:42

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Nigel Farage says Trump conviction made no difference to him

Quizzed about his friendship with the former US president, he said his conviction makes no difference to him.

Condemning it, he said that other presidents have done worse things.

Mr Farage added: “I am convinced he will win.”

(Yui Mok/PA Wire)

Salma Ouaguira3 June 2024 16:40

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