UK Politics

Make Farage a Lord, says UKIP contender Paul Nuttall

Nigel Farage Image copyright PA
Image caption Mr Farage returned as UKIP's interim leader after Diane James stood down

One of the frontrunners to succeed Nigel Farage as the leader of UKIP says he would aim to secure him a seat in the House of Lords if he won.

Paul Nuttall told Sky News a peerage would be a "fitting tribute to the man who gave us Brexit".

Mr Farage stood down after the EU referendum but returned as interim head after his replacement Diane James quit.

The Sunday Times reports the two other party leadership favourites would also back a peerage for Mr Farage.

According to the paper, Raheem Kassam and Suzanne Evans have both said they would like to see him on the red benches in the upper house of Parliament.

Ms Evans is quoted in the Sunday Times as saying: "If Nigel wants a seat in the House of Lords, I will campaign like stink for that."

Mr Farage, who failed seven times to be elected as an MP, led UKIP for a decade.

He stood down on 4 July saying his "political ambition has been achieved" with the UK having voted to leave the EU, but returned when Ms James resigned two months later.

'Cameron hated us'

Mr Nuttall says he hoped Prime Minister Theresa May would adopt a different approach from that of her predecessor when it came to offering peerages to UKIP.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mr Nuttall is the MEP for North West England and a former UKIP chairman

UKIP currently has three representatives in the Lords, two defectors from the Conservatives and the other previously an independent Conservative.

Mr Farage should be recognised for his role in the Brexit vote, said Mr Nuttall, the MEP for North West England and former UKIP chairman,

"It would be a great idea. UKIP should have been given more peerages. David Cameron obviously had a visceral hatred of us, and we were never awarded one.

"Maybe now with Theresa May in the seat, we may well get peerages, and if we do get peerages then Nigel Farage should be the first on the list."

NHS spending

Mr Nuttall was also questioned about policy issues during his interview with Sky's Dermot Murnaghan.

He said there needed to be better checks on asylum seekers to ensure they were not jihadis or economic migrants.

On climate change he said "far more research" needs to be done before measures "which harm our economy" are adopted.

Mr Nuttall confirmed he was in favour of capital punishment for child killers and would "probably" support a reduction of the abortion limit from 24 to 12 weeks, but neither would be automatically adopted as policies by UKIP.

On the NHS, he said he was in favour of an overall increase in spending to employ more doctors and nurses but in other areas - such as procurement of drugs - it should be "streamlined" with more free market involvement.

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