The former UKIP party leader Nigel Farage has made his bid to clamber back into a seat of political influence as a member of the European parliament. The Brexiteer left UKIP in December after its ties to the far right figure Tony Robinson created a demeanour of hatred towards Islam for the party – something that Farage was unwilling to shoulder. Since then he has maintained his support for the Vote Leave faction of the Brexit issue as its Vice Chairman. Recently he spoke at the ‘Leave Means Leave’ rally in Westminster, declaring that a second referendum was on the horizon and that the Brexiteer’s should be prepared for the might of the Remain supporters.
However, despite throwing his support towards the Leave faction initially, Farage’s certainty of
Brexit succeeding seems to have been shaken. This was demonstrated in his plans to take a seat on the European parliament as an MEP after leaving his own party, seemingly certain of Brexit being overturned in a second referendum and an extension of Article 50. A re-election of the MEP representatives from around Europe is scheduled in May, making it Farage’s potential vehicle back into politics provided that the UK still has its place in the EU with the extension of Article 50.
This brings the motives of Farage into question. Does he really value the Brexit Leave campaign and believe in its success, or is he preparing to jump ship already? In the arena of politics Farage stands in a state of flux between the different political parties and though some would argue this could be dangerous for future success in parliament, he now has some options to reinvent his political image. After his early involvement as head of UKIP, he is regarded distastefully by many due to the far right views that the party is mired with.
Perhaps this is Farage’s chance to reinvent himself and take a more tolerant stance on former issues he’s disputed such as immigration. As Brexit unfolds we will see where Farage throws his hat and how he conducts himself in the climate of a new political party. The question remains as to whether the European parliament would be able to contend with such an opinionated political figure in their midst.