Nigel Farage rules out switch to Tories while Rishi Sunak is leader after I'm A Celebrity exit

'I am looking at a Conservative government that is in total shambles,' Nigel Farage said on Good Morning Britain on Monday

Nigel Farage has described Rishi Sunak as a "lame duck walking" as he spoke about the chances of standing as a Conservative MP once again in one of his first interviews since finishing third on I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!

The former leader of the Brexit Party made it to this year's final with former professional boxer Tony Bellew and reality star and radio presenter Sam Thompson, who went on to win the show.

Farage left the Tory party in 1992 and became a founding member of the UKIP party, later serving as its leader from 2006 to 2009 and again from 2010 to 2016.

Asked on Good Morning Britain if he will stand as a Conservative candidate at the next election, Farage said: "I don’t think under this leadership there is very much prospect of that.

"I am looking at a Conservative government that is in total shambles, facing tomorrow effectively a confidence vote on an issue that affects every single living human being in our country, namely immigration on a level that never happened even during Tony Blair’s days.

"Rishi is a lame duck walking and the Conservative Party are headed for total defeat."

He also told presenters Susanna Reid and Ed Balls that he finds any comparison to ex-Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who also finished third on I'm A Celebrity in 2022, "difficult to deal with".

"The idea that I can be compared to Matt Hancock on any level I find difficult to deal with," he said.

"He was part of a government that locked us down three times and did our country enormous damage so no, I do not bear comparison with Matt Hancock other than third place."

'The idea that I can be compared to Matt Hancock on any level I find difficult to deal with'

When pressed by Balls on whether Farage could rejoin the Conservative Party under different leadership, Farage said: "I have no idea at this moment in time but what I would say is never say never.

"And our country needs, actually, people at the top with some firm guidance as to where we are going to go in the future.

"At the moment, we are rudderless and I don't see a Labour party with the strength to get us out of this mess."

The former MEP also defended the £1.5m fee he was given to appear on I'm A Celebrity.

"I went there for two reasons: one, was to say to the world, I've been the most demonised figure over the last decade in national politics. Nobody has been through what I've been through with the popular press demonising me.

"I wanted to show people I'm a normal human being and you can't pretend to be that for 3 weeks, 23 nights in the jungle.

Farage’s appearance at the Conservative Party conference in October sparked speculation that he might join the party. Credit: PA

"Secondly, I wanted to test myself - did I have the courage, did I have the strength to go through the whole thing? I had no agenda other than that I promise you."

When Reid asked about the paycheck, Farage conceded: "Look, the money - of course. What's wrong with that?

"I live very modestly - have done for years - never moaned about it, never complained about it... But is this the biggest paycheck I've ever had? Yes it is, and what on earth is wrong with that?"

Another option would be for Farage, who has tried seven times without success to become an MP, to return to Reform UK, the renamed Brexit Party he founded in 2018.

As the owner of Reform UK – which is not a traditional political party but a private company – it may be easier for him to stand as one of its candidates, and the party’s polling position appears to have improved in recent months.

Reform is now averaging 8% in the polls, although there is a wide spread among pollsters, with figures for the party ranging from 2% to 9%.

But the party has repeatedly underperformed its polling figures in by-elections, averaging less than 4% of the vote in six contests this year.

Farage suggested he would not make an immediate decision, telling GB News: "Somehow to think that we’re going to walk out of a jungle of the 23 nights and announce a relaunch in British politics, frankly, is for the birds."

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