Nigel Farage: I will quit as UKIP leader if I don’t become an MP

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Nigel Farage has said he will quit as leader of UKIP if he doesn’t win in his South Thanet constituency.

The UKIP leader revealed in the Telegraph that if he does not win a Parliamentary seat in May, it would be “curtains” for him as party leader.

He said: “It is frankly just not credible for me to continue to lead the party without a Westminster seat.

“What credibility would UKIP have in the Commons if others had to enunciate party policy in parliament and the party leader was only allowed in as a guest?

“Was I supposed to brief UKIP policy from the Westminster Arms? No – if I fail to win South Thanet, it is curtains for me. I will have to step down.”

The Conservative party had been projected to retain the seat despite a challenge from Farage, but polling last month showed the UKIP leader 12 points ahead of Tory candidate Craig Mackinlay.

He will also face competition from Al Murray, who is running in the seat as his alter ego The Pub Landlord.

It is unclear who would lead the UK Independence Party if Farage does stand down.

The Thanet branch of UKIP attracted controversy earlier this year, when Councillor Rozanne Duncan was sacked after a rant over “negroid features”.

The party’s leader in Scotland, gay MEP David Coburn, is currently facing pressure to stand down after he compared a Muslim SNP minister to a convicted terrorist.

He joked about MSP Humza Yousaf and Abu Hamza, a radical Islamic cleric serving life behind bars for terrorist offences.

Mr Coburn allegedly referred to the politician as “Humza Yousaf, or as I call him, Abu Hamza”.