The Brexit Party leader used the ‘Big Vision Rally’ in front of some 5,500 supporters to lay in to Boris Johnson, who is pipped to become the next Prime Minister as he goes head to head with rival Jeremy Hunt. To cheers from crowds waving blue glow sticks in the air, he told Boris: “You can try if you want but I will not be put back in my box”. Nigel Farage‘s one liner prompted his supporters to chant “Nigel, Nigel!” after the Tory leadership candidate was attacked.
But Mr Farage’s criticism didn’t stop there when he questioned whether Brexiteer Mr Johnson, who has promised to leave the EU by October 31 with or without a deal, could be trusted.
He asked: “Boris why should we trust you when you tell us we are leaving one October 31?” before reminding supporters the former foreign secretary had voted for outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal on the third time of asking despite labelling the same plan as a “disaster”.
Mr Farage said: “Never trust the Tories – they make manifesto and commitments that they never have any intention of offering. I don’t trust them.”
The Brexit Party unveiled its first 100 candidates ready to stand at a general election – and pledged to have every Westminster seat covered before a new Tory leader is in place.
More than 5,000 party supporters cheered the prospective candidates on to the stage at a rally at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre, where Mr Farage hailed the event as “the new politics”.
The would-be MPs, including teachers, an economist and a forklift truck driver, were introduced to the crowd before Mr Farage attacked both the Tory and Labour stances on Brexit.
After making his way on to the stage to join the candidates as supporters waved glow sticks, Mr Faragetold the crowd: “This fine group of people are but a start.
“By the end of next week we will have 650 approved prospective parliamentary candidates. There is a big message that Westminster needs to hear – we are not a protest movement.”
Urging party supporters to help its campaigning activities in any way they could, Mr Farage said of the rally: “I think the rest of the world will be looking at this, wondering about this because this is the new politics.
“I have to tell you, aside from the 650 candidates, there are many things that I want you to do.
“I am asking for your help because beyond the general election, maybe even before the general election, we will have to find thousands of people to stand up and fight local elections for us, right across the country.”
At the start of the speech, Mr Farage said of the party’s first weeks of existence: “It’s been unbelievable.
“We have now got 115,000 registered supporters and almost unbelievably we have managed on four occasions to top the polls for how do you intend to vote in the next general election.”
Citing the recent Peterborough by-election as an example, Mr Farage added: “There are many seats in the country, especially many Labour-held seats in the country, where we are now the challenger – where only we can beat the Labour Party.”