Nigel Farage: I will not fight for Chris Huhne’s seat
UKIP leader dismisses speculation to confirm he’s shying away from contesting the LibDem’s Eastleigh seat
Former Energy Secretary Chris Huhne’s guilty plea over a speeding incident and resignation as MP has unleashed a firestorm of speculation about the candidates who could vie for the LibDem’s seat in the ensuing by-election - including UKIP leader Nigel Farage.
The seat would be fiercely fought, with the Tories only 3,864 votes behind the Lib Dems in the 2010 elections. Labour got less than 10%. Although UKIP got just 3.6% of the vote in 2010, UKIP leader Nigel Farage told media that he was considering standing in the event of a by-election for the Eastleigh seat.
A UKIP spokesman told LondonlovesBusiness.com on Monday.
“He’s thinking about it. Nominations close next Monday and we’ll have our candidate in place next week.”
However, on Tuesday, the UKIP leader wrote in the Daily Telegraph that he was not going to fight for Chris Huhne’s seat after all, arguing that there were other UKIP candidates who were better placed to throw their hat into the ring.
“Ukip continues to grow, and as it does, so the calibre of its candidates improves. We already have a dozen excellent people who have put their names forward to stand as the UKIP candidate in Eastleigh,” he wrote.
“Whoever is chosen will have my full support, and the support of everyone in the party. We will fight this by-election as hard as we can, and expect to turn what people predict to be a two-way fight into a serious political battle.”
Following his guilty plea, Huhne told reporters outside Southwark Crown Court of his intention to resign:
“I have pleaded guilty today. I am unable to say more while there is an outstanding trial. But having taken responsibility for something that happened 10 years ago the only proper course of action for me is to resign my Eastleigh seat in parliament which I will do very shortly. And that’s all I’m able to say today,” he said.
LibDem leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has said he is “shocked and saddened” at the news of Huhne’s resignation.
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