UKIP’s Farage Says He Will Step Down After Brexit Victory

LONDON (Reuters/AP) -
Nigel Farage, the leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), speaks at a news conference in central London, Britain July 4, 2016. Farage said he will step down as leader of UKIP. REUTERS/Neil Hall
Nigel Farage, the leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), speaks at a news conference in central London, Monday. (Reuters/Neil Hall)

The leader of Britain’s anti-European Union U.K. Independence Party (UKIP) Nigel Farage said on Monday he would stand down after having realized his ambition of winning last month’s referendum in favor of Brexit.

“I have never been, and I have never wanted to be, a career politician. My aim in being in politics was to get Britain out of the European Union,” he said.  “So I feel it’s right that I should now stand aside as leader of UKIP.”

“During the referendum campaign, I said ‘I want my country back.’ What I’m saying today, is, ‘I want my life back,’ and it begins right now.”

It is not the first time Farage has quit as leader of the party. He stood down in May 2015 after failing to win a parliamentary seat in last year’s general election, only to withdraw his resignation three days later.

He said he would continue to support the party, and continue to watch Brussels “like a hawk” during the negotiations around Britain’s exit from the EU.

He reiterated his view that Britain’s new prime minister needed to be from the “Leave” campaign but declined to back a specific candidate between Andrea Leadsom, Michael Gove or Liam Fox. Current frontrunner, Theresa May, backed “Remain.”

Farage, 52, has been a member of UKIP since its 1993 birth and was first elected to the European Parliament in 1999.  Farage said he will retain his seat in the European Parliament to see out the negotiations for Britain’s exit from the EU.