Nigel Farage felt 'vindication' as a Tory candidate was charged over election spending
The former Ukip leader, who was on the campaign trail in Thurrock ahead of a visit to Thanet, where he lost two years ago, said he had “thought very hard” about whether to run again having been “upset” by the result.
Speaking outside Ukip’s office in Grays yesterday, Mr Farage said: “I was very upset two years ago at the circumstances and what took place in that seat. I never complained, I never said anything in public about it but I did feel, with the Crown Prosecution yesterday deciding to prosecute three people, a degree of vindication.”
Mr Farage spent the morning with Ukip candidate Tim Aker, stopping to talk to passers-by and shopkeepers in the Essex constituency.
Many passing cars tooted their horns in support of the campaign.
Craig Mackinlay will face court after the June 8 election
His trip comes a day after it emerged Tory Craig Mackinlay will face court after the June 8 election over allegations relating to election spending in his battle with Mr Farage, but insists he is confident he will be cleared and will continue to campaign for re-election as South Thanet’s MP.
I was upset two years ago – I feel vindicated
After the charges against him and two Tory officials were announced just a week before polling day, he received the backing of Prime Minister Theresa May, who said: “The Conservative Party continues to believe that these allegations are unfounded. Craig Mackinlay is innocent until proven guilty and he remains our candidate.”
Nigel Farage in pictures Mon, April 3, 2017
Nigel Farage is a British politician who has been the leader of the UK Independence Party since October 2016.
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Nigel Farage in pictures
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The former Ukip leader is the campaign trail in Thurrock ahead of a visit to Thanet
Mr Farage later visited the Kent constituency to give a speech in support of Ukip candidate Stuart Pipe. He said he expected Tory support in the area would “disappear” after the charges but claimed the news was not a “Jack in the box”. He said: “This has been talked about, it’s been rumoured for the last two years – his difficulty now is do you vote for somebody to be your MP who you know is appearing in the magistrates’ court on the 4th July?”
● Yesterday speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today, Mr Farage accused the FBI of “hysteria” after naming him as a “person of interest” in its investigation into possible Russian interference in the US presidential election.