UKIP Leader Farage Quits

UKIP Leader Farage QuitsUKIP Leader Farage Quits

The leader of Britain's insurgent rightwing populist UK Independence Party said on Monday he was stepping down after realizing his ambition to win a vote for Britain to leave the EU, punching another hole in the country's chaotic politics.

The departure of brash former commodities trader, Nigel Farage, would sideline one of the most outspoken and effective anti-EU campaigners from the debate about how to sever Britain's ties with the other 27 countries in the bloc.

But it could also give his UKIP party, which won just a single seat in parliament last year despite placing a strong third, an opportunity to select a less-polarizing figure and take on the mainstream in what is likely to be a radically altered political environment.

Both of Britain's two main political parties are in disarray following the vote to leave the EU, with the ruling Conservatives seeking a replacement for Prime Minister David Cameron and lawmakers from the main opposition Labor Party voting to withdraw confidence leader Jeremy Corbyn.

"I have never been and I have never wanted to be, a career politician. My aim in being in politics was to get Britain out of the European Union," Farage told reporters.

"During the referendum campaign, I said 'I want my country back'. What I'm saying today, is, 'I want my life back,' and it begins right now."

The acrimonious leadership battles in the main political parties have added to uncertainty at a time when Britain is embarking on its biggest constitutional change since the dissolution of its empire in the decades after World War Two. The government, which failed to convince voters that a Leave vote would cause economic harm, is now racing to reduce the damage.

George Osborne, the finance minister, has abandoned his target of balancing the budget within four years and floated the idea on Sunday of a quick cut in corporate tax to 15% from 20%. The opposition Labor Party accused him of trying to turn Britain into an offshore tax haven.