Nigel Farage delivered a rallying cry to West Midlands voters ahead of next week’s European elections, saying: “It is time to let the heart of England speak.”
The Brexit Party leader says he is targeting the region ahead of next week’s poll, insisting his party can hoover up thousands of votes from Labour supporters infuriated by their party’s “confused” stance.
Mr Farage brought his Brexit Party roadshow to the region for a rally in front of hundreds of supporters at The Willows in Willenhall, where he set out his plans to “win big” on May 23.
In an interview with the Express & Star, he claimed his party was “more fundamental than anything I have ever done before” and said he was already planning for the next general election.
He revealed for the first time that one of the Brexit Party’s key policies will be to scrap HS2, pledged to “hurt” Westminster for failing to deliver the result of the EU referendum, and called for a seat at the table in the Government’s Brexit negotiations.
“I’m targeting the Labour vote in a massive way,” he said.
“If you look at the Labour candidates, they are all Remainers who want a second referendum, yet lots of Labour voters think Mr Corbyn actually wants Brexit.
“It is extremely confused. Whatever he wants, the Labour Party now is becoming an all out Remain party, and voters need to know that.”
Mr Farage said his aim next week was “to come first” and initiate “real change” in British politics. “We want to make Westminster realise that they cannot get away with not delivering Brexit, to put a WTO Brexit back on the table and to get rid of the Prime Minister.
“If we win, we want people from the Brexit Party to become part of the negotiating team to sort out our withdrawal in October.
“People are beginning to question whether we are living in a democracy. Our political system is moving to a point where people are losing all faith, with our politicians showing themselves time and time again to be incompetent.
“At every level we are living through a very bad chapter in our nation’s history.
“This is more fundamental than anything I have ever done before. Winning votes is not enough. We have to change politics for good. The two-party system isn’t working, our political class do not respect the will of the people.
“This is the launch of a peaceful political revolution.”
‘WTO rules only way to deliver democracy’
Mr Farage defended his decision not to take part in a debate with Change UK interim leader Heidi Allen, claiming he “couldn’t pick her out of a line up” and describing her party as “a nonsense”.
“I did challenge Jeremy Corbyn to a debate and he declined,” Mr Farage added.
He also hit out at suggestions that a ‘no deal’ Brexit would harm the UK’s economy, saying: “The same experts told us that half a million jobs would go immediately after we voted Brexit. Now we have record employment in Britain.
“They said we should join the Euro, which has been proven to be a disaster. I have wanted us to have a free trade deal with the EU for 25 years, but we have never asked for it.
“Given where we are now, the only way that the democratic result can be delivered is by doing it on WTO rules.
“Shortly thereafter they will come running down the street after us looking for a deal.”
‘Contract not manifesto’
In response to criticisms over his party’s lack of policies other than Brexit, he said: “You’ll never see a document entitled a manifesto from us. In most people’s minds it has the immediate association with the word ‘lie’, because that’s what we have had for years with the main parties.
“We will put together a contract for Britain for the next general election, but next Thursday is about one thing: promises that were made in 2016 that have been broken.”
He did, however, reveal that his party would campaign on an anti-HS2 platform. “We want it scrapped. No negotiation. It’s a total waste of money – money that could be spent in the English regions to give people things like better transport services.”
Describing the West Midlands as “the great bellwether” of British politics, Mr Farage said: “The people here are from the heart of England. It is time for them to speak.
“I have no doubt that how we do here will determine the result next week.”
Mr Farage was due to appear at a rally in Dudley today.