Nigel Farage says he will stand in the British election, in a blow to the Conservatives

Nigel Farage, the pro-Brexit activist and serial disruptor of British politics, on Monday announced plans to run in next month's British general election, dealing a fresh setback to the prospects of the country's embattled prime minister, Rishi Sunak.

Last month Farage said he would not seek a parliamentary seat because the announcement of the July 4 election had taken him by surprise and because he wanted to prioritize supporting Donald J. Trump's election campaign in the United States.

But on Monday Farage reversed that decision and said he would take the helm of Reform UK, the successor to the Brexit Party he once led, and run for a seat in Parliament.

“I've changed my mind – it's allowed, you know,” he said. “I will stand for this election,” adding that she will stand in Clacton-on-Sea, a coastal area where support for Brexit has been strong.

The announcement comes on the eve of one of the biggest events of the British election campaign so far: a televised debate between Sunak and Keir Starmer, the leader of the opposition Labor Party.

With his Conservative Party trailing in opinion polls and after an accident-prone start to the election campaign, Sunak is already under considerable pressure.

Farage's change of heart could worsen the prime minister's prospects because, according to analysts, Reform UK risks taking away a significant number of votes from the Conservatives.

Divisive, charismatic and famous for his communication skills, Farage was one of the architects of Brexit, which a narrow majority of Britons supported in a 2016 referendum. Some analysts believed that his earlier decision not to stand for election had weakened part of his impetus to the Reform UK campaign.

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