1. ITV Report

'You have the charisma of a damp rag': Nigel Farage's most notable quotes

Is it goodbye to Nigel Farage? Credit: PA

Nigel Farage is nothing if not controversial.

Following today's announcement that he is to stand down as leader of Ukip (though we have been here before) we take a look at some of the most controversial and notable quotes from a man who is never lost for words.

Nigel Farage announces his resignation on Monday. Credit: Pool

On announcing his resignation

During the referendum I said I want my country back. What I'm saying today, is I want my life back, and it begins right now.

– Announcing he would stand down as Ukip leader, July 4
A 30-year-old Nigel Farage stands as Ukip's first candidate in the Eastleigh by-election in June 1994. Credit: ITV News

On deciding to unresign and continue as Ukip leader in 2015

As much as I wanted to spend the summer fishing, walking, and of course, in the European Parliament where all hell is currently breaking loose – that I owed it to the party that got me here.

There are some huge battles about to take place, and as much as I had thought that taking at least the summer off was in my best interests, I realise now that the party comes before me, and indeed, that this country comes before both.

With a European Referendum potentially on the horizon, I feel the need to stay involved for just a little bit longer.

– Deciding to continue as Ukip leader after resigning last year, May 11, 2015

On winding up the European Parliament

When I came here 17 years ago and said I wanted to lead a campaign to get Britain to leave the European Union, you all laughed at me. Well, I have to say, you're not laughing now, are you?

– Addressing members in the European Parliament on June 28
The Ukip leader in the European Parliament in Strasbourg. Credit: Reuters

On the EU referendum

Let June 23 go down in our history as our independence day.

– After leave won in the EU referendum on June 24
Nigel Farage reacts to the news that the UK has voted to leave the EU. Credit: PA

Hardly worth waiting for. It is truly pathetic. No treaty change, no repatriation of powers, no ability to control our own laws, our money or our borders. Now let's get on with the referendum.

– Speaking about David Cameron's EU renegotiation on February 2

I have here a letter from a 30-year-old HIV-positive man in London who says 'why are the waiting rooms now full to overflowing? Why does it now take me three weeks to get an appointment?'. And he says to me, 'it is because, since we opened the door in 2012, we're now incapable of providing HIV treatment for people legally living in Britain?

– In a televised debate ahead of the 2015 general election, on April 30, 2015

On why immigration is behind traffic chaos in the UK

It took me six hours and 15 minutes to get here - it should have taken three and a half to four. That is nothing to do with professionalism, what it does have to do with is a population that is going through the roof chiefly because of open-door immigration and the fact that the M4 is not as navigable as it used to be.

– After missing a reception for Ukip supporters in Port Talbot due to traffic, on December 7, 2014
Credit: Reuters

On the targeting of him and his family by protesters

I hope these 'demonstrators' are proud of themselves. My children were so scared by their behaviour that they ran away to hide. At the time of writing this a relative has gone to look for them, and they are not yet at home. These people are scum.

– After protesters chased the Farage family out of a Kent pub, on March 22, 2015

On the election of Ukip's first MP

The whole of British politics has been shaken up in a way that the complacent Westminster class could never even have contemplated.

– Following Douglas Carswell's victory in the Clacton-on-Sea by-election, on October 11, 2014
Nigel Farage campaigns with Douglas Carswell. Credit: PA

On himself

Looking at the picture of me in the wreckage, note that I've still got my top button done up and my tie on.

– On being injured in a Ukip banner-bearing plane crash in May 2010
The Ukip banner-bearing plane which crashed with Mr Farage inside. Credit: PA


I don't want to be rude but, really, you have the charisma of a damp rag and the appearance of a low-grade bank clerk and the question I want to ask is: who are you? I'd never heard of you, nobody in Europe had ever heard of you.

– In an attack on the EU's new president, Herman van Rompuy, on February 26, 2010
Herman van Rompuy Credit: PA

The way this thing has been conducted is more akin to Zimbabwe or Afghanistan.

– Commenting on the result of Ireland's second referendum on the EU's Lisbon Treaty, October 2009

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