It's in the Telegraph so the accuracy of the claim comes with a health warning. But Christopher Hope writes that Nigel Farage could consider standing down as UK Independence Party leader and leading (my emphasis) the campaign for Britain to leave the European Union, according to Arron Banks of Leave.EU.
Hope writes that Banks said he would support Farage if he decided to stand aside from Ukip and give his “total focus” to the ‘out’ campaign. It's a 'leave' campaign, so you can see what I mean about accuracy. Add to that that nowhere in Banks' quoted comments does he mention leadership of the campaign. So this could just be Hope sexing up the piece to get attention.
The article goes on to mention that following the announcement that Nigel Lawson is leading the Conservatives for Britain campaign, Banks and two of Leave.EU's millionaire backers, Richard Tice and Jim Mellon, issued a statement in which they said:
It would be better if the Eurosceptic Tories just 'shut up' as they are going to alienate the vast majority of people who will look at this campaign as a Tory stitch-up.This is interesting because if these three men have any kind of political radar worthy of the name, they would know that having Farage lead the Leave.EU campaign would alienate the vast majority of voters who cannot stand him, and would not consider him to lead it.
Leave.EU is the best placed operation to prevent the troughing carpetbaggers of Business for Britain/Campaign to Leave/Elliott for Elliott from being designated as the official leave campaign. Appointing Farage as leader of the Leave.EU campaign would not mean it couldn't secure official designation, but it would ensure a resounding defeat in the referendum if Leave.EU were the official grouping.
Like it or not, Farage's appeal is very limited and he doesn't have what's needed to win the support of undecided voters and those who are only slightly leaning to the 'remain' side. His rhetoric focuses too much on immigration and even if he laid off the topic during the campaign the media would drag it up continually and put off voters. Plus it would be difficult if not impossible for the unions Arron Banks is trying to woo to sit in the same tent as Farage during the referendum campaign.
We can only hope Arron Banks doesn't let Farage have a leadership role in the campaign. It would be a suicidal move by someone who is devoting a huge amount of time, money and resource to freeing Britain from the EU.