'Not everybody likes me,' admits Ukip leader Nigel Farage

The divisive MEP is considering whether to lead the EU referendum 'out' campaign

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Indy Politics

Ukip’s leader Nigel Farage has conceded that “not everybody” likes him, as the debate about who should lead the EU referendum ‘out’ campaign continues.

Speaking at a press conference today Mr Farage appeared to suggest he was open to someone else becoming the public face of the official eurosceptic campaign if they had a better chance of winning.

“I think it would be better if it was someone from outside the world of politics, who had no political baggage,” he said.

“As far as my role is concerned, look, not everybody likes me, I accept that.”

The comments should be seen in the context of a statement on LBC Radio earlier in which Mr Farage said he would “of course” be prepared to lead the campaign if pressured to do so.

Mr Farage is a divisive figure. He inspires devotion from some Ukip activists and has taken his party from a small fringe group to one of the three biggest in British politics.

However, leadership ratings before the election also showed that more people had a negative view of him than other party leaders.

Other suggestions to lead the ‘out’ campaign include James Dyson, the vacuum cleaner entrepreneur and inventor.

 

But a former staffer of Mr Farage, Raheem Kassam, rubbished the idea, saying earlier this month that he did not believe Mr Dyson was as much of a “household name” as his former boss.

David Cameron has pledged to hold a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union by 2017.

Mr Farage on Monday accused the PM of “Fifa-style” levels of corruption over the vote, in an interview with the Daily Telegraph newspaper.

The Government has revealed that voters will be asked whether they want to remain in the EU, meaning the ‘out’ campaign will be cast as the ‘no’ campaign and the ‘in’ campaign will be the ‘yes’ campaign.

There is also currently discussion about whether the UK’s taxpayer-funded civil service would be bound by impartiality rules during the campaign period.

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