Ken Clarke: 'Farage knew he couldn't win Newark'

Nigel Farage decided not to stand in the Newark by-election, as he knew he could not win, according to Conservative Cabinet minister Ken Clarke.

Conservative Cabinet minister Ken Clarke. Credit: Press Association

"I am not really surprised. Whatever else Nigel is, he is not an idiot and I don't think he'd have the faintest chance of winning in Newark," he told the BBC.

Earlier the Ukip leader said: "I don't have any links with the East Midlands, I would just look like an opportunist and I don't think that would work."

But he added: "We will fight the Newark by-election and fight it damned hard and get a good local candidate.

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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.