U.K. Independence Party leader and Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage said Monday he is resigning as the head of the party, after achieving his ambition to have Britain vote to leave the European Union.
“During the referendum I said I wanted my country back…now I want my life back,” Farage said at a press conference in London on Monday.
“I have decided to stand aside as leader of UKIP. The victory for the Leave side in the referendum means that my political ambition has been achieved. I came into this business because I wanted us to a self-governing nation, not to become a career politician,” Farage said.
This is the second time Farage, 52, is resigning as the leader of the party. He had resigned as UKIP leader after not being elected as an MP in the May 2015 general election, only to return to the job. This time, however, he said it was definite. Also, he said will retain his seat in the European Parliament to see out the negotiations for Britain’s exit from the EU following the country’s June 23 referendum.
The party’s only MP in the Commons, Douglas Carswell, reacted to Farage’s announcement by sharing an emoticon on Twitter – a reflection of the rocky relationship between Carswell and Farage. Last week, the Independent reported Farage suggested Carswell could be removed from the party, saying: “We find somebody inside our party who doesn't agree with anything the party stands for, it's a very odd state of affairs.”
“UKIP is in a good position and will continue, with my full support to attract a significant vote,” said Farage.
After Prime Minister David Cameron announced his decision to resign following the referendum, the Conservative Party has launched a race to elect its leader and the next prime minister of the country. While Farage’s fellow Brexit campaigner Boris Johnson had been touted as a popular choice for the position, he decided not to run, in a surprise move.