Like most of you, I have just seen the news that Nigel Farage has resigned as leader of UKIP. I could say many things about Nigel Farage, as I’m sure we all could. But I’ll point out the two most obvious in my view.
Nigel is the greatest orator of our time. His public speaking ability, his timing and delivery, and the sheer passion whenever he speaks, are second to none.
We have just won a referendum to leave the European Union. When I first joined UKIP in 2001, that seemed like a pipe dream which might never be realised. We would not have had a referendum at all, were it not for the effort and industry of Nigel Farage.
I am sad that this represents the end of an era. As one era ends, another must begin. There is much work still to be done. We must ensure that Brexit actually happens. We must hold the government’s feet to the fire to ensure that they negotiate a good deal for us. Finally, we must seize the opportunity to set out our vision for how we can make a free, independent Britain a better place to live.
I look forward to working with whoever is elected as the next leader of UKIP, as we seek to overcome these challenges. Whilst I am sure that all of us in UKIP are saddened at the loss of Nigel as leader, we must not fall at this hurdle: onwards and upwards!