Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage quits UK Independence Party


FILE PHOTO: Pro Brexit supporter and ex-leader of UKIP, Nigel Farage, reacts at a ‘Leave Means Leave’ rally, on the first day of the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham, Britain September 30, 2018. REUTERS/Darren Staples

LONDON (Reuters) – Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage said on Tuesday he was leaving the United Kingdom Independence Party which he used to pressure the ruling Conservative Party into gambling on a Brexit referendum.

Farage, as UKIP leader, put pressure on former Prime Minister David Cameron to promise an EU referendum and then helped lead the successful campaign to leave the bloc.

But after stepping down as UKIP leader following the referendum, Farage has been critical of the party which he cast as disorganised and poorly led.

“I am leaving UKIP today,” Farage said. “There is a huge space for a Brexit party in British politics, but it wont be filled by UKIP.”

Farage criticised a decision by the current leader, Gerard Batten, to appoint far-right activist Tommy Robinson as an adviser.

Once ridiculed by Cameron as the leader of a bunch of “fruitcakes and loonies and closet racists,” Farage has repeatedly taunted EU leaders over what he calls the “Brexit revolution.”

He is a keen supporter of Donald Trump and was pictured with him beside a golden lift shortly after the 2016 presidential election.

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Costas Pitas

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