UK Politics

Nigel Farage warns of 'seismic shock' if Brexit not delivered

Nigel Farage Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Ambassador Farage? "You're spoiling us..."

"Another big seismic shock" could hit British politics at the next election, Nigel Farage has warned Theresa May if Brexit is not delivered by 2020.

The interim UKIP leader said he suspected the Conservative Government "is not fit for the legacy of Brexit".

He made the remarks at a reception in London's Ritz Hotel to celebrate his contribution to the Brexit victory.

In a nod to Donald Trump's call for him to be UK ambassador to the US, he handed out Ferrero Rocher chocolates.

The sweet treats were famously offered in an advert set at an "ambassador's reception" and included the oft-quoted line: "You are really spoiling us."

Downing Street has already rejected Mr Trump's claim that Mr Farage would do a "great job" as ambassador by saying "there is no vacancy".

And Chancellor Philip Hammond said Mr Farage should not "hold his breath" if he expected a call for him to help with UK-US relations.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Mr Farage was presented with the Ferrero Rocher chocolates at the Ritz reception

Mr Farage was introduced for his speech by Leave.EU spokesman Andy Wigmore, with a call for attention from "Ladies, Gents, Lords and... diplomats".

Mr Farage told the gathering: "We've got a problem. In America the revolution is total. Not only have the people spoken and won, but the old administration, Obama and all those ghastly people, are out and the Trump people are in.

"In this country, the people have spoken, but the same players have just been shuffled around the chess board and we are still being run by the career professional political class.

"I am not sure what is going to happen over the course of the next couple of years but I suspect there's another big seismic shock in British politics perhaps going to come at the next election.

"I suspect that the Conservative Party is not fit for the legacy of Brexit. I suspect there is going to be a genuine realignment of British politics over the course of the next three or four years.

"It is unfinished business - the people have spoken but the establishment don't want to listen. There are great battles to be fought and I'm going to go on fighting those battles."

The reception at the Ritz was hosted by millionaire Arron Banks, who was thanked by Mr Farage for bankrolling the Leave.EU campaign.

On speed dial?

Also present were Conservative MPs Jacob Rees-Mogg and Peter Bone, Labour Leave campaigner and donor John Mills and UKIP leadership candidate Paul Nuttall.

Asked if he would back Mr Farage to be the UK ambassador to the US, Mr Rees-Mogg said: "Mr Farage's relationship with Mr Trump could be beneficial for the country but I am not sure he should be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary.

"Mr Farage is certainly extraordinary in his own way but I think that being plenipotentiary as well may be a bit too much."

Mr Hammond also dampened any ambassadorial ambitions Mr Farage might have in an interview with ITV's Good Morning Britain.

"It isn't for other countries to decide who we appoint as ambassadors - and if I ever need any advice from Nigel Farage, I've got his number and I'll give him a call," he said. "Tell him not to hold his breath."

Mr Farage, who has denied reports that he plans to emigrate to the US, recalled that he had joined Mr Banks and other leading Brexiteers at the Ritz on the morning after the 23 June referendum for a victory breakfast of Champagne and kippers - a reference to the nickname for UKIP supporters.

He said: "When people look back in 100 or 200 years, 2016 will be seen as one of the great historic years - a year of big political revolution.

"Brexit was the first brick knocked out of the establishment wall and then look what we got on 8 November. The election of 'The Donald' was something of a completely different order."

To cheers he said: "For those of you who aren't particularly happy with what happened in 2016, I've got some really bad news for you - it's going to get a bloody sight worse next year."

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