There is no denying that UKIP is all but finished, after Henry Bolton placed the final nails in the coffin in the wake of his affair with a much younger party member. Without Nigel Farage, the number of UKIP Voters has dropped significantly from 4 million, to only 600,000 after numerous replacements have quit the role.
Nigel Farage has flat out refused to return as Ukip party leader when asked, but it has been unveiled that he is now in talks with millionaire businessman Aaron Banks, who was Ukip’s main financial backer, about setting up a new political movement.
A source has said that Farage and Banks have discussed “at length” the new political relationship, stressing that it would be more of a movement rather than a traditional political party.
Farage has now led Ukip twice, he first stood down as party leader after the EU referendum but he then briefly returned as interim head when his replacement, Diane James, resigned after just 18 days in the role.
Henry Bolton was Farage’s own choice in the last leadership contest for Ukip – and he has shown no signs at all of wanting to take control of Ukip again.
Nigel Farage’s life is now spent hosting radio talk shows, and “Nigel is playing his cards very close to his chest,” about what he want’s to do, “I’m not sure if he even knows yet exactly what he wants to do.”
Farage has talked at length about the toll frontline politics has exerted on his life, describing himself in an interview in December as “53, separated and skint”. He also worries about the effect his profile and divisive name has on his family.
The discussion with Banks has made a return to politics all the more likely – and with Ukip in freefall, there potentially is space for a movement arguing for a robust Brexit.
A spokesman for Farage told the BBC: “There is no chance of him coming back as Ukip leader. He wouldn’t consider it for a second.” The spokesman noted that Bolton remained leader for now.
Banks, who bankrolled the Leave.EU campaign said in March last year he had quit Ukip to focus on a new movement, but as yet nothing has materialised.