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Farage announces he will not stand in Newark by-election

UKIP leader Nigel Farage has said he will not be standing in the Newark by-election, sparked by disgraced former Tory minister Patrick Mercer's decision to quit over a cash-for-questions scandal.

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Ukip seek 'serious and impressive' by-election candidate

Ukip plan to run a "serious and impressive candidate" in the Newark by-election triggered by Patrick Mercer's resignation as an MP, a party source has said.

"If there is a by-election very soon after the European elections it would be quite a big deal, particularly if Ukip has given the Tories a bloody nose, we would want to run a serious and impressive candidate," the source said.

There is speculation that Nigel Farage could stand in the Newark by-election. Credit: John Stillwell/PA Wire

The by-election could provide an opportunity for Ukip leader Nigel Farage to contest a Westminster seat to capitalise on his party's popularity.

Mercer held Newark with a Conservative majority of 16,152 in 2010, but the by-election will cause a headache for David Cameron - particularly if Farage decides to stand.

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