Nigel Farage on shortlist for Time magazine's person of the year award

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Nigel Farage has been shortlisted for Time magazine's prestigious person of the year award.

The former Ukip leader features alongside the likes of US President-elect Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin, scientists who have developed technology to edit DNA, and Beyonce among the finalists.

The American news magazine, which has a global audience, appeared to give Farage much of the credit for the June 23 Brexit vote.

(Ben Birchall/PA)
(Ben Birchall/PA)

Announcing the 11-strong shortlist, chosen by Time editors, the magazine said: "As head of the UK Independence Party, Farage was a face of the successful campaign for Britain to leave the European Union, positioning the referendum as the start of a global populist wave against the political establishment."

The winner will be announced on Wednesday.

Earlier, Farage said 2016 will be looked back on as the year the "little people decided they would assert themselves and could actually beat the establishment".

He was visiting Sleaford, Lincolnshire, ahead of a by-election on Thursday where the Conservatives are defending a majority of more than 24,000.

Asked if Ukip candidate Victoria Ayling stands a chance of winning, Mr Farage said: "I don't know, it's 2016, why predict anything? Only an idiot predicts things in 2016 because it's been so full of upsets.

"It's a big opportunity for voters to say to the Prime Minister: We voted for Brexit, we didn't vote for hard Brexit, we didn't vote for soft Brexit, we voted for Brexit... and would you please get on with it."

Nigel Farage (Yui Mok/PA)
(Yui Mok/PA)

Farage also highlighted his closeness with Trump and again insisted he could perform an ambassadorial role for the UK with the controversial president-elect's administration.

Speaking about his plans for the new year, he said: "Trump becomes president on January 20 and his incoming administration think that I have a very positive role to play between our two countries.

"At the moment, 10 Downing Street doesn't seem to think that.

"To me, that's a shame because I genuinely think we have an Anglophile president coming in on January 20, a big opportunity to completely reset the relationship after the Obama years."