UK Politics

Nigel Farage hints at Labour by-election

Nigel Farage Image copyright PA

Nigel Farage has suggested he could contest a by-election in a Labour-held seat after deciding to stay on as UKIP leader.

Mr Farage had promised to quit if he failed to win a seat at the general election, but had his resignation rejected by his party.

He told BBC Radio 5 live: "I would look forward to a by-election in a Labour seat very much indeed."

He also said he had sat in a "darkened room" before deciding to continue.

Mr Farage failed to be elected in South Thanet, losing out to the Conservative candidate. He had said he would be "for the chop" if he lost out.

'Fully intended'

Speaking to the BBC at the European Parliament in Brussels, he said he had kept his word but was "persuaded to change his mind" by "overwhelming support" from UKIP's National Executive Committee.

"I resigned. I said I'd resign. I turned up to the NEC meeting with letter in hand fully intending to carry that through," he said.

"They unanimously said they didn't want me to do that, they presented me with petitions, signatures, statements from candidates saying it would be a bad thing for UKIP.

"So I left the meeting, went and sat in darkened room to think about what to do, and decided for the interest of the party I would accept their kind offer for me to stay and tear up the letter."

Mr Farage also said UKIP's "greatest potential" was among Labour voters in the Midlands and the north of England.

More on this story