Nigel Farage said the decision to charge his former Tory opponent Craig Mackinlay is a game changer
The former Ukip leader gave the Daily Express an exclusive interview as he campaigned in the target seat of Dagenham and Rainham.
His return to the election trail came as the Crown Prosecution Service announced it would charge Tory candidate Craig Mackinlay over his election expenses in 2015, when he defeated Mr Farage.
Mr Mackinlay, a former member of Ukip, has denied any wrongdoing and questioned the timing of the CPS announcement just days before the election.
In a statement on his Facebook page, the 50-year-old said he was confident he would be cleared. He added: “Our justice system is underpinned by the presumption of innocence and I am confident that I will be acquitted as I have done nothing wrong… “
[I] acted honestly and properly whilst a candidate in 2015 and, as all candidates do, acted upon advice throughout.
Nigel believes the decision could help Ukip win seats in the election next week
I think the problem is the more people see of May the more they doubt she will actually do it.
Clearly this is a shocking decision by the CPS. “I am confident that this will be made very clear as the matter progresses,” he said.
Earlier, he received support from Theresa May, who said: “The Conservative Party continues to believe that these allegations are unfounded.”
When asked if this was “a game changer” in a difficult election for Ukip, Mr Farage said: “Yes. I think it does help Ukip.”
He added that Ukip’s decision to not stand against strong Brexiteer MPs will “help her [Mrs May] win seats”.
Get Quotes on Home Insurance
Nigel believes Ukip's decision to not stand against strong Brexiteer Mps will help Tories win seats
He said: “But equally there are constituencies like here in Dagenham and Rainham where Brexiteers should vote Ukip.
There is no reason why we can’t nick a few seats.” Despite being mobbed by voters in Dagenham, Mr Farage said he believes the Labour surge has been exaggerated, adding: “The betting markets don’t suggest it.”
He also warned that Mrs May could disappoint on Brexit, which is why he believes people need Ukip MPs.
Nigel believes Theresa May could disappoint if she remains as the Prime Minister Brexit debate in pictures Mon, April 17, 2017
The debate in the European Parliament in Strasbourg will focus on key issues of the Brexit talks including reciprocal rights for EU citizens, the peace process in Northern Ireland and trade
AFP/Getty Images 1 of 23
Former leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) Nigel Farage (L) gestures as he speaks with EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker (R) prior to a debate on the conclusions of the last European Council, at the European Parliament in Strasbourg
He said: “I think the problem is the more people see of May the more they doubt she will actually do it.
I mean four times Jeremy Paxman asked her, ‘Do you now believe in Brexit?’ and four times she didn’t answer.”