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Nigel Farage announces candidacy as Reform MP in Clacton and becomes party leader, posing challenge to Rishi Sunak as latest poll shows close race with Tories

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Nigel Farage, the former Brexit champion, has made a dramatic announcement stating that he will run for Parliament in Clacton as a Reform MP. This decision came after he took over as the Reform party leader. Farage declared that he is back for the next five years and expressed his desire to take on the Tories when they are in Opposition. This move poses a significant challenge for current Chancellor Rishi Sunak as the Tories are facing a tough battle against Labour. A recent poll showed that the Tories are only six points ahead of Reform and a substantial 26 points behind Keir Starmer’s party.

Farage acknowledged that winning from scratch in a constituency would be very difficult but expressed confidence in his ability to surprise everyone. He mentioned a rejection of the political class in the country and emphasized the need for boldness to recover the country’s position. Despite previous speculation about Clacton or East Thanet, Farage revealed that he had been urged by people in the streets to run for Parliament, leading to his decision to stand in Clacton. This move has led to previous candidate stepping aside for Farage’s candidacy.

The issue of potential collaboration between Reform and the Tories after the election has stirred controversy. Cabinet minister Kemi Badenoch ruled out the possibility of serving in the Tories if Farage joins after the election, citing concerns about his intent to ‘take over’ the Conservatives. Andy Street, recently ousted West Midlands mayor, emphasized the importance of the Conservatives maintaining a moderate stance and warned against an alliance with Farage that could alienate the party from the center ground.

Reform UK is currently polling between 12 and 15 percent, with Farage setting a target of 18 percent to win seats in Parliament. The party’s draft manifesto for the upcoming election includes promises of tax cuts, abolishing business rates for small businesses, and tax relief for private healthcare users. Additionally, Reform UK pledges to launch public inquiries into Covid-19 and the vaccine rollout, indicating a focus on addressing key issues affecting the country.

The escalating campaign tensions were further fueled by Farage’s social media teaser regarding an ’emergency general election announcement.’ The prospect of Reform potentially splitting the right-wing vote and leading to a bigger victory for Labour has raised concerns among Conservative MPs. Farage’s intent to engineer a realignment of the Right to team up with Tory hardliners has been met with skepticism and opposition from within the Conservative ranks. However, Farage remains steadfast in his commitment to bringing about change and addressing the rejection of the political class in the country.

As the campaign intensifies and the general election approaches, the political landscape is becoming increasingly competitive and unpredictable. The clashes between different parties and the emergence of new alliances and strategies highlight the evolving dynamics of UK politics. Farage’s decision to run for Parliament and his ambitions for Reform UK underscore the challenges and opportunities facing the political establishment in the upcoming election. In this climate of uncertainty and change, the future direction of UK politics remains uncertain, with the potential for significant shifts and realignments in the political landscape.

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