Farage: Bercow challenge was ‘miscalculation’

By politics.co.uk staff

The former leader of Ukip, Nigel Farage, has admitted it was a “miscalculation” to try and take the Commons seat of speaker, John Bercow.

Mr Farage, who is also an MEP, came third in the election in Buckingham behind Mr Bercow and independent John Stevens.

He told the BBC’s Politics show he had stood because the major parties were not standing against Mr Bercow, but he underestimated how popular the Speaker was in his constituency.

He said: “He’s somebody who is pretty unpopular amongst the Westminster set, amongst the journalists.

“He’s not somebody who’s liked and I wasn’t to know just how popular John Bercow was with his constituents in Buckingham and that really is what shone out of that result.

“So yeah you could say it was a miscalculation but, you know, you’ve got to try things in life.”

Mr Farage also said he felt lucky to be a live after being in an aeroplane which crashed while campaigning on election day.

He said of the ordeal: “I was suspended, upside down in the wreckage, and then that horrible smell of petrol everywhere, you know, petrol in the hair and in the clothes, and then thinking, ‘God, you know, we’ve survived this crash and now we’re going to burn to death’.

“And that was absolutely terrifying. But the real miracle was that, on the impact with the ground, the engine had bounced miles away.

“The pilot had had the foresight to turn off the electrics and so all the stuff that could have set the petrol off wasn’t there.

“And that was where we were really lucky.”

Mr Bercow may yet face a challenge to his position as Commons speaker; Tory MP Nadine Dorries has called for his re-election to be opposed.