By Joe Harker
Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage has launched the Brexit Party, a new political party officially recognised by the Electoral Commission.
Farage has said his new party would contest an election in the event of the UK's departure from the EU being pushed back. Theresa May has insisted she will not extend Article 50 and delay Brexit, which would mean the Brexit Party never stood, but many do not believe her.
In The Spectator's Steerpike column it is argued that Farage's re-entry into Brexit related politics is a problem for the Tories.
Although he has had seven failed attempts at election to the House of Commons, Steerpike suggests Farage's new party could hoover up enough Tory members to put the party into trouble during an election. The Tories minority government cannot afford to have voters lose faith with the party on Brexit and leave.
Labour MP Kate Hoey believes the Brexit Party would "sweep the country" in the event of a general election if the UK hadn't sorted out its exit from the EU.
She suggested that a new Farage led party could capitalise on the frustration and anger among the British public at what they perceive to be an obfuscation of Brexit. Many in the UK just want the government to "get on with it" and might vote for a party that promises to do that and stop quibbling over the details.
The Counter Claim:
Hugo Rifkind of The Times calls Farage "the armchair general of Brexit", criticising him for regularly weighing in on Brexit from the sidelines without a real answer.
Ever ready with a slogan or criticism of the EU, Farage is the go-to man for an inflammatory statement but hasn't offered any sort of solution to break the current deadlock. His suggestions of leaving without a deal are reviled by parliament, on other EU related subjects he appears to lack an understanding of the details.
For British politicians the Brexit debate has been short on knowledge and heavy on meaningless platitudes. In that case Farage is the arch-Brexiteer, all vision and no detail.
One wonders whether Farage was among those who had "a special place in hell" in Donald Tusk's view. The European Council president denounced those who promoted Brexit without any idea of how to do it and Farage has been doing that for years.
Rifkind writes that if Brexit is to be taken seriously then Farage has no role in it.
Farage claimed over 15,000 people signed up to hear more about his new party within the first 24 hours.
The Brexit Party was founded by former UKIP candidate Catherine Blaiklock and has a history of anti-Muslim comments, reports Buzzfeed. Farage quit UKIP citing a growing anti-Muslim agenda among the politicians there.