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Politicians and Celebrities React To Nigel Farage's Resignation

Photo: Getty Images.
Following the UK’s vote to leave the European Union on the 23rd of June, the man widely regarded as the biggest “winner” after the shock result has resigned from his post.

Nigel Farage, the former leader of the UK Independence Party and prominent campaigner to leave the EU, said his side wouldn’t have won without Ukip and that he has done his bit for the leave cause, according to the Guardian.

He also said Prime Minister David Cameron wouldn’t have called a referendum in the first place if it wasn’t for Ukip.

Farage has campaigned to leave the EU for the past 20 years and now that he’s achieved what he wanted, he has said, “I want my life back”. In a statement reported in the Guardian, he said: “The victory for the ‘leave’ side in the referendum means that my political ambition has been achieved.” Clearly, he wants to leave on what he sees as a high.

However, Farage also explained that he wants Ukip to play a role in the country’s negotiations to leave the union, and that he’ll continue to lead the Ukip group in the European parliament until the UK leaves the EU and the role no longer exists.

How seriously can we take his statement remains to be seen. Farage has resigned from his leadership position twice before, most memorably last year on the 8th of May, after he failed to win the seat of Thanet South at the general election. He quit his post after having said it wouldn’t be credible to lead the party without a Westminster seat. Then, just three days later, he “unresigned” as the party membership refused to let him leave.

This time Farage says he won’t change his mind, but in a political landscape currently so unpredictable and tumultuous, it seems anything could happen.

There has been a mixed reaction to the news of Farage's resignation already, with Douglas Carswell, Ukip’s only MP, tweeting a smiley face emoji. Suzanne Evans, Ukip’s parliamentary spokesperson who is currently suspended, has since retweeted Carswell.

George Freeman, Conservative MP for Mid-Norfolk, said the news was “good” and that it’s a “small step on the road to making Britain a less divided intolerant + disillusioned country”. He added:
Green Party MP Caroline Lucas seemed similarly pleased on hearing the news, calling Farage’s legacy “toxic”.

Labour MP David Lammy was also damning of what he sees as Farage’s legacy, tweeting:

Singer Lily Allen tweeted calling the news “unbelievable”, citing the £350 million a week that Farage had pledged would be going to the NHS during the referendum campaign, from which he backtracked after the result was announced (as reported by The Independent).

Charlotte Church also reacted angrily on hearing the news, tweeting:

Others don’t appear to think the British public will have seen the back of Farage just yet. Comedian Stephen Mangan tweeted:

While Richard Osman, from the BBC TV show Pointless, said:

But Guardian columnist and author Owen Jones, who backed the remain campaign, appeared less upbeat, saying Ukip could threaten the Labour Party in northern England even more post-Farage.