Nigel Farage at Number 10 to demand role in Brexit talks

Nigel Farage has handed a letter in to Downing Street to demand involvement in the Brexit negotiation process.

The letter, addressed to the Prime Minister and copied to all the Conservative leadership candidates, reads: “The electorate have asked for us to come into the negotiating team and we are ready to do so immediately.”

After handing the letter to security inside Downing Street, the Brexit Party leader said: “We’ve got 55 days now of total impasse, while the Government spends all its time working out who the next prime minister is.

“We’ve only got less than five months until we’re due to leave. We would love to start helping now.

“This is us saying to you: we’re not a protest party, we actually want responsibility, we want to get involved.”

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When asked about losing the Peterborough by-election in which his party’s candidate came a close second to Labour, Mr Farage said: “Did we? I don’t know, if you think zero to 29% in a couple of weeks is losing, then it’s losing.

“From nowhere we produced a phenomenal result. If you look at the opinion polls put out by YouGov last night, they actually showed us six points in the lead across the country.

“They are astonishing figures for an organisation that Richard [Tice] and I launched eight weeks ago today.

“What you saw last night in Peterborough was too many Conservatives voted Conservative and let Labour win.

“It was a two-horse race between us and Labour, as it will be in many constituencies.

“The Tories need to understand those seats, if they vote Conservative they will get a Corbyn, Remainer government.

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“We are the only people who can beat Labour in cities like Peterborough.”

When asked who he thinks will be the next leader of the Conservative Party, Mr Farage said: “I haven’t got a clue.”

He was also asked why he decided his MEPs would not join the European Parliament group of right-wing Italian deputy premier Matteo Salvini.

He said: “Mr Salvini is a very effective politician, there’s no question about that. I wasn’t particularly impressed with the way one or two of his people behaved over the last couple of days.

“But we’ve decided the ENF group is not for us. There are some very successful political parties there, I’m not going to be derogatory about them, but politically the Brexit Party is much more centrist.”