Two and a half years ago, as the implications of the EU referendum result were still sinking in, there was speculation that Nigel Farage, then leader of the UK Independence Party, might be recommended for a peerage. In the brief media debate that followed, I argued that he absolutely should be: arise, Baron Farage of Little England, was my line – and make it hereditary, so his heirs have to account for what he sowed.
Among the reasons I gave was that, whether you liked him and his views or not, Nigel Farage had become a considerable figure in UK politics. He had, almost single-handed, put the question of leaving the European Union on the mainstream agenda, formed a party to campaign for it, led his party to top the 2014 European parliamentary elections, and helped the Leave campaign to their narrow victory in the referendum.
Tory Eurosceptics had made life difficult for successive Conservative prime ministers, but it was not until Farage came along, with his straight talk and popular appeal, that what has become Brexit started to feature on the mainstream political map. Here was an individual who had changed not only the face of British politics, but – potentially – the whole future direction of the UK itself. Should not such a figure be recognised and given a voice in parliament?
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