Nigel Farage announces he will not be standing in the General Election

Nigel Farage has announced he is not standing as a Reform UK candidate in the July 4 General Election, but will “do my bit to help” the party in the campaign.

The party’s honorary president said in a statement posted on X on Thursday: “I have thought long and hard as to whether I should stand in the upcoming general election.

“As honorary president of Reform UK, I am fully supportive of Richard Tice’s leadership and urge voters to put their trust in him and Lee Anderson.

“I will do my bit to help in the campaign, but it is not the right time for me to go any further than that.

“Important though the general election is, the contest in the United States of America on November 5 has huge global significance.

"A strong America as a close ally is vital for our peace and security. I intend to help with the grassroots campaign in the USA in any way that I can.

“The choice between Labour and the Conservatives is uninspiring, and only Reform have the radical agenda that is needed to end decline in this country.”

Mr Farage has in recent years embarked on a new career as a presenter on GB News but he is cancelling his show to free up time to campaign for Reform UK.

The party’s honorary president and presenter on the broadcast channel retweeted a journalist’s post reporting the development, just hours after he announced he will not be standing in the upcoming General Election.

As he launched Reform UK's election campaign leader Mr Tice, a multimillionaire former Tory donor, said: "I'm absolutely delighted my good friend Nigel’s Farage will be helping significantly in campaigning to drive home the message of Reform UK and how we can save Britain. "

Mr Tice inherited the leadership of Reform UK, originally called the Brexit Party, from Mr Farage when he decided to step back from frontline politics in 2021 in the aftermath of Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union (EU).

The party is seeking to attract disillusioned Conservative voters, mainly over the issues of immigration and net zero.

Many Tories fear it could put a real dent in Rishi Sunak’s hopes of a return to Downing Street come polling day.

They are likely to be relieved Mr Farage has decided against taking on a more prominent role, as this could have massively boosted Reform’s prospects.

Mr Anderson, the former Tory deputy chairman, is the only current Reform UK MP following his defection from the Conservatives.

According to current polls, the party is projected to get around 12% of the vote at the election - that's almost the same as the percentage of votes bagged by UKIP in the 2015 election.

Mr Farage previously served as the leader of UKIP, a Eurosceptic right-wing party.

After the exit of the UK from the EU, UKIP evolved into the Brexit Party, which is now known as Reform UK. Mr Farage led the Brexit Party from 2019 to 2021.

In 2019, Mr Farage withdrew his Brexit Party candidates in Tory held seats, which was viewed as part of the reason for Boris Johnson's whopping 80-seat majority.

But leading the Brexit Party to victory in the European Parliament elections in 2019, Mr Farage saw the party win 29 seats.

Mr Farage served as a Member of the European Parliament for South East England from 1999 until the UK's exit from the European Union in 2020.

During his time as UKIP leader he ran to be an MP five times, with his first defeat in the Eastleigh by-election in 1994, and his last in the seat of South Thanet in 2015.

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