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Brexit champion Nigel Farage said he will run in the UK election, shaking up the race

Nigel Farage, the pro-Brexit campaigner and disruptor of British politics, announced on Monday plans to run as a candidate in the UK general election. the next monthposes a new setback to the prospects of the country’s embattled chancellor, Rishi Sunak.

The surprise announcement from Mr. Farage, who represents the insurgent far-right movement, threatens to upset the election campaign by taking votes away from Britain’s ruling Conservative Party. In doing so, it could make it even harder for Mr Sunak and his party to close the double-digit gap in the polls with the opposition Labor Party.

Fragile, charismatic and famous for his communication skills, Mr. Farage was one of the architects of Brexit, which a majority of Britons supported in the 2016 referendum. Some analysts argued that his decision not to participate in the previous election had lost the momentum of Reform UK, the successor to the Brexit Party he once led.

Mr Farage said last month he won’t search a congressional seat because he wanted to prioritize supporting Donald J. Trump’s election campaign in the US. Mr Farage is a longtime ally of the former president and campaigned for him in 2020.

But on Monday, Mr Farage reversed his earlier decision and said he would take on the leadership of Reform UK and run for a seat in Parliament.

“I’ve changed my mind – you’re allowed to know that,” he said. “I will stand in this election,” adding that he will run in Clacton-on-Sea, a coastal area where support for Brexit is strong.

The announcement comes ahead of one of the biggest events in the UK general election campaign to date: a televised debate between Mr Sunak and Keir Starmer, leader of the opposition Labor Party.

With his Conservative Party falling behind in opinion polls and after a rocky start to the general election campaign, Mr Sunak has come under significant pressure.

Mr Farage’s change of heart could worsen the prime minister’s prospects because, according to analysts, Reform UK risks taking away a significant number of votes from the Conservative Party.


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