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Making Plans For Nigel: Reform Counts The Cash After Farage's Comeback

Senior figures in Reform UK admit they were “blindsided” by Nigel Farage’s comeback as leader but insist they are delighted as the cash rolls in from new members.

“Everywhere I went, people were saying to me: ‘Where's Nigel? Why can't we have Nigel?’ And I think that finally got to him. But did I see it coming? No”, said Baroness Ann Widdecombe, a spokesperson for Reform.  

“No one was expecting Nigel to stand”, Ben Habib, one of Reform UK’s deputy leaders told PoliticsHome. He described the scenes in Clacton at Farage’s candidacy launch as “the Second Coming”. 

Farage had said at the start of the election campaign that six weeks was “not enough time” to find a seat and that he had decided not to make an eighth attempt to become an MP. 

His dramatic change of mind has electrified the 4 July General Election – and led to a flood of new members and cash, say party figures.

“We all recognise that his presence was worth a few more million votes and probably a few more million pounds”, Widdecombe added.

Since Farage’s return, around 7,000 people signed up on the day of Farage’s ‘emergency press conference’ alone, claimed Habib.

“That's 7,000 times £25 which is £175,000 just on that day which is quite cool, isn't it?”, said Habib. Farage revealed on Sunday that the party had reached over 40,000 members which equates to a total of £1m.

That’s a significant injection to a party that had been preparing to campaign ‘on a shoestring’.

Reform UK — unusually for a political party — is also a limited company. Farage, who owns 53 per cent of the stock, is the ultimate kingmaker, controlling the direction of the party and holding the power to appoint or remove directors, including Tice.

Founded in 2018, the party has an unusual structure. Tice,

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