Leading British euroskeptic Nigel Farage launched the Brexit Party on Friday ahead of the United Kingdom’s possible participation in European Parliament elections in May.
Farage said that Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May’s failure to pass a deal to exit the European Union was a “betrayal” of the British public and the decision it made in a 2016 referendum.
“Our two-party system simply cannot cope with Brexit,” said Farage, who used to lead the far-right United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP).
“We are a great nation and a great people, but we are being held back by weak leadership in Westminster. The time to change this is now,” said Farage, surrounded by supporters in the city of Coventry.
Farage left UKIP in December, saying the party had become “unrecognizable” as it continued to more strongly embrace fringe politics and Islamophobia.
One of the Brexit Party’s star candidates is former Conservative Party member Annunziata Rees-Mogg. Her brother, Jacob, is an archconservative Tory and one of the fiercest critics of the prime minister’s Brexit plan.
“The Brexit party is fortunate to have such a high-caliber candidate but I am sorry that Annunziata has left the Conservative Party,” he wrote on Twitter.
UKIP’s current leader, Gerard Batten, said after the announcement that the Brexit Party was “just a vehicle for Farage.”
es/rc (AP, dpa)
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