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If I am an MP, I will not ‘spend a lot of time’ on Donald Trump’s campaign trail in America

Nigel Farage said on Tuesday that he would not spend “a lot of time” on Donald Trump’s campaign trail in America if he is elected to parliament.

The new leader of Reform UK is set to become an MP in the Essex seat of Clacton.

Just over a week ago, he made it clear that his focus would be on the American presidential elections in the fall.

But in a dramatic turnaround, he announced on Monday that he wanted to become reform leader and MP after repeatedly failing to get into parliament in the past.

He immediately went to war with the Tories over immigration and Europe.

When asked on BBC radio whether he would be campaigning with Trump across the Atlantic in the autumn, Mr Farage said: “I obviously wouldn’t be able to spend much time in America if I was in Westminster.

“That doesn’t mean I couldn’t go at all, but it would definitely be a change of priorities.”

This contrasted with what he said on May 23, when he did not stand as a candidate to reform Britain in the upcoming general election.

Mr Farage, then the party’s honorary chairman, said he had “thought long and hard” about whether to stand in the July 4 election but that it was “not the right time”.

He added: “I will do my bit for the campaign, but it is not the right time for me to go further than that. As important as the general election is, the election battle in the United States of America on November 5 has enormous global significance.

“A strong America as a close ally is crucial to our peace and security. I plan to help in any way I can with the grassroots campaign in the US.”

The reforms seek to attract disillusioned Conservative voters and have seen vigorous campaigning in previous Labor strongholds in the north, known as the Red Wall, on issues such as immigration and net zero.

Meanwhile, Trump’s name will appear on the ballot Tuesday for the first time since his historic felony conviction, as a handful of states hold the final 2024 Republican presidential primaries.

The former president will attend the Republican primary in Montana, New Jersey and New Mexico.

President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, will participate in the primaries in the same states, plus the primaries in Washington, DC, and one in South Dakota.

Republicans in DC held a party primary in March. South Dakota canceled the Republican presidential primaries because Trump was unchallenged.

Voters will also cast ballots in primaries for federal, state and local offices in those states.

Trump and Biden are both expected to easily prevail in the election, where they are the last major candidates still running.

But the results could point to voters’ concerns about their choices as the November election approaches.

If Trump’s victory margins are smaller than expected, it could be a sign that voters are hesitant to nominate a presidential candidate with a criminal record.

Trump was convicted by a Manhattan jury last week of 34 crimes related to hush money payments.

Jurors found the former president guilty of falsifying company records to conceal hush money payments to former porn star Stormy Daniels during the 2016 presidential election.

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