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Farage to stand against speaker Bercow

Ukip leader Nigel Farage is to stand against Commons Speaker John Bercow at the next election, the party said today.

It posted the news on its website, ahead of a formal announcement tomorrow from Mr Farage at Ukip's annual conference.

He is an MEP for the south-east region which contains Mr Bercow's Buckingham constituency, one of the safest seats in the country.

Mr Bercow won the seat for the Conservatives at the last election with a majority of 18,129 - but at the next poll he will stand simply as "Mr Speaker Seeking Re-election".

By convention the main political parties do not put up candidates against a sitting Speaker, so the Liberal Democrats and Labour would be expected to give Mr Bercow a free run.

Mr Farage will be attempting to cash in on votes from disaffected Tories. He told The Daily Telegraph: "This is a part of England where we did very well in the European elections and local elections.

"We are very well organised and strong and I intend to fight this very hard to become the MP."