Nigel Farage is “open-minded” about launching a political comeback but remains concerned about coming up against the Conservative Party, a report has revealed. The ex-UKIP leader, who returned to the headlines amid speculation he could sweep up votes due to disaffection with the Tory Party’s handling of Brexit and immigration, is not expected to stand at the next general election after he suffered seven defeats in his previous bids.
Mr Farage told the Mirror: “The truth of it is anywhere I stood they would cheat. They would break the law, they just would.
“No one went to prison last time, the result stood, one person got a suspended sentence.”
Mr Farage appeared to be referring to his most recent bid to become an MP in 2015 when he lost in Thanet South by just 2,812 votes.
The Conservative Party was later found to have broken spending rules as they threw the kitchen sink at keeping Farage away from the House of Commons.
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Tory official Marion Little was given a suspended sentence and fined £5,000 in 2019 after being found guilty of falsifying election expenses.
The judge said Ms Little had become “carried away by her conviction” that the Tories must defeat Mr Farage.
The Conservative Party claimed spending on the campaign in Thanet South came in under the £52,000 limit.
However, prosecutors allege up to £66,000 more was spent on staffing, accommodation, advertising, posters and a bus.
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Professor Rob Ford said: “There’s a significant slice of seats where the Conservative majority over Labour or the Lib Dems is not large, and there was no Brexit party candidate last time.
“If a Brexit Party-type candidate stands next time, then the Conservative MP is struggling even before any swing to the local opposition.”
Sir John Curtice added: “Reform UK need Farage to come back, and if he did – given that there is an immigration issue for him to leverage – then the Tories would have good reason to be concerned.”
Alongside his 2015 bid in Thanet South, Mr Farage unsuccessfully stood in Eastleigh in 1994, Salisbury in 1997, Bexhill & Battle in 2001, Thanet South in 2005, Bromley & Chislehurst in 2006 and Buckingham in 2010.
However, the GB News host managed to pull off victories in the 2014 and 2019 EU Parliamentary Elections as leader of UKIP and the Brexit Party.