Nigel Farage has told talkRADIO winning the EU referendum means more to him than UKIP.
The MEP for south-east England is desperate for the nation to vote to leave the European Union when the country goes to the polls on June 23 – so much so he claims it’s more important to him than the leadership of his own party right now.
Speaking to Julia Hartley-Brewer, Farage insisted: “What matters to me more than UKIP is I want to win this referendum on June 23. I want my country back! I think we should be an independent, self-governing nation that controls its borders.
"The EU referendum would never have happened without us [UKIP] and, in the run up to Brexit, we’ve got a very important role to play. I hope longer term that what we’ve done is get an intelligent debate about immigration levels into this country and the absolute need for us to move to an Australia style points system.
“So right now I’m not thinking very long-term, I’m thinking about what’s going to happen in six weeks’ time.”
UKIP had a good night in Thursday’s UK local elections, further strengthening its claim to be considered the third main political party in the country, and Farage was in an ebullient mood on Friday morning.
“I would say this morning I’m a pretty happy bunny,” he added. “We’ve made good, solid progress. We’ve made breakthroughs into the Welsh Assembly for example, where we’ve never been represented before. We’re hopeful of getting on to the London Assembly later this afternoon (Friday) and perhaps even the Northern Irish.
“In England our scores are up and we seem to be taking seats from Labour. We’re winning seats on councils across England.
“In the north of England we are now the opposition to the Labour party in the big cities. I think this is a very significant development and, while the gap is still quite large, clearly there is a large segment of old Labour voters who are not keen on Mr Corbyn’s leadership.”