Ukip's Nigel Farage urges Jeremy Corbyn to join campaign to leave European Union


Nigel Farage has appealed for Jeremy Corbyn to join him in calling for Britain to leave the EU as he kicked off Ukip's referendum campaign.

Mr Farage said the impact the Labour leadership frontrunner was having showed the political Left were "waking up to what the EU is".

The Ukip leader also reiterated his determination to play a key role in the national vote, dismissing suggestions he is a "Marmite" personality who could harm the chances of Brexit.

The comments came in a phone-in on LBC radio ahead of the formal campaign launch in London later.

Mr Farage said he was planning to go "on tour" around the country from now until the referendum - scheduled to take place before the end of 2017.

Research by Survation for the British Future think-tank indicated that Mr Farage's emphasis on immigration could turn off floating voters.

But the MEP said his name was not even mentioned in the polling, and blamed "soft Conservative Eurosceptics" for trying to damage him.

"You have to understand there are certain people in Westminster who are not happy that I am launching this nationwide tour today," Mr Farage said. "Some of the rather posher set. There are some sort of soft Conservative Eurosceptics who think they should be in charge of the campaign and they can manage it all from a few streets in Westminster.

"They have been trying since May to say 'Nigel is divisive and Nigel is this and Nigel is that' ... my name isn't even mentioned in the opinion poll.

"It was taken during the general election at a moment when Ukip was being demonised and it is being dragged out to coincide with our launch."

'Marmite' politician

Asked if he was a "Marmite" politician, Mr Farage said: "I don't think that's right. I have got an opinion. Some people will agree with it and some people will disagree with it. At least they know what I stand for."

Mr Farage said he thought left-winger Mr Corbyn - who has gone from rank outsider to hot favourite in the Labour leadership race - was similar to him in that they both appealed to those outside the "Westminster village".

"Here is a bloke who stands up and says what he believes," he said.

"I don't believe in very much of it. However, I noticed last night on that final debate held on Sky that when the EU question came up he was very critical.

"I think the Left of British politics is waking up to what the EU is. They have seen Greece trampled upon, they see a transatlantic trade treaty which they are worried could threaten the viability of the NHS.

"And what I am going to say at my meeting today is that far from being divisive, I actually want to bring together all the different Eurosceptic elements in this country. Let's forget about left and right, that is irrelevant.

"I hope Corbyn wins, because I think under him there will be a proper debate on the Left of British politics in this referendum on what the EU is."

Writing in the Telegraph, Mr Farage extended an invitation for Mr Corbyn to share a platform at any of the events on his tour.

"I would be delighted to hear him, as a genuinely radical voice on the Left, making his critique of the EU and why we shouldn't be scared of leaving," he wrote.

The Ukip leader predicted the referendum would be fought in three main areas, and control over Britain's area's would be dominant.

"The first is this basic point about self government and democracy. Are we good enough to make our own laws and negotiate our own trade deals, or do we need this to be done at Brussels level?" he said.

"A subset of that is can we control our own borders or not, and that I think will be the dominating issue of the campaign.

"The third area is money - a huge number of people out there are furious that we are giving £55 million a day to this organisation whose accounts have not been signed off for a couple of decades."

Nigel Farage on the Migration Crisis on LBC's Nick Ferrari Show