Trump Ally Nigel Farage Confronts Hecklers As His Far-Right Reform UK Party Gains In U.K. Election

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The Labour Party and its leader, newly appointed British Prime Minister Keir Starmer, won the U.K. general election decisively. However, as Starmer began forming his new cabinet, another politician, Nigel Farage, leader of the far-right Reform UK party, was eager to celebrate his party’s smaller yet notable gains. Farage, known for being one of Britain’s most divisive politicians, was heckled by a series of protesters as he delivered a speech in London on Friday.

Despite the interruptions, Farage remained composed, even mocking his hecklers by chanting “boring!” as they were escorted out of the hall.

Reform UK secured five seats in the 650-seat House of Commons in Thursday’s national election, a modest but significant increase from their previous count of zero. Farage argues that the U.K.’s first-past-the-post voting system makes it difficult for smaller parties to translate their share of votes into a proportional share of seats in the Commons. He vowed on Friday to campaign for a change to this system. However, Farage’s real success lay in the overall vote tally, not just the five seats his party won, including his own first election to Parliament.

To the dismay of the long-ruling Conservative Party, from which Reform UK drew significant support, the anti-immigration party garnered about 15% of the vote, totaling over 4 million ballots. This gave Reform UK the third-highest overall vote count among all the competing parties, surpassing even the Liberal Democrats, who, despite receiving about half a million fewer votes, secured a record 71 seats in the Commons.

Farage, 60, won his seat in his home constituency of Clacton, in southeast England, after seven previous failed attempts. His Reform UK party, originally founded in 2018 as the Brexit Party to advocate for a complete and uncompromising break from the European Union, has consistently campaigned on reducing immigration to Britain.

Farage is often compared to his transatlantic ally, former U.S. President Donald Trump, due to their similar brash political styles and nationalist rhetoric. Farage has appeared at events with Trump in the U.S. and has met with him in Britain as well.

Farage’s campaign was marred by several last-minute controversies, mostly involving racist or sexist comments attributed to Reform UK candidates. On election day, Farage vowed to “professionalize” his party. Speaking to CBS News’ Emmet Lyons on Friday morning as the election results were being finalized, Labour Party Mayor of London Sadiq Khan acknowledged the rise of “popular nativist, nationalist movements.” He stated that Starmer would govern “in the national interest, show humility, be magnanimous, and be humble over the course of the next three, four, five years.”

This will undoubtedly be a primary objective for both the Labour and Conservative Parties in the coming years. Both parties will be keen to develop political strategies to counter the trend of voters gravitating towards the far-right, a phenomenon seen across Europe in recent years, which was also reflected in Reform UK’s share of the votes this week, despite their minimal presence in Parliament.