Published On: Thu, Apr 4th, 2024
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Inside Nigel Farage’s 60th birthday bash where he dropped biggest hint yet on his future | Politics | News

The reason for that seems obvious. The Tory right sees Farage as one of them and more than that a potential future leader.

One MP noted: “There are only two people who could move the dial to save the Conservative Party – Boris [Johnson] or Nigel.”

Andrea Jenkyns had gone to the trouble to have a whole new image for the party.

Meanwhile, Mark Francois was telling other guests about how he and Farage first met when he was a shadow minister visiting the European Parliament.

The two had met by accident in a bar and many hours later staggered out after a long drinking session.

“I remember thinking, this bloke is actually a good chap,” said Francois.

There were a few drinking stories from the Farage legend being recounted. Australian actress and singer Holly Valance (present at the party with her millionaire Tory donor husband Nick Candy) gave one of the speeches.

She recounted how she is usually bored when she meets other A-listers but on hearing once that Farage was staying nearby on holiday in Montenegro she had gone all “fan-girl”.

A brief evening meet-up at 6pm then turned into a full-on Farage drinking session until 2am.

The party though was more than Farage the politician or the phenomenon who has changed British politics. The guest list reflected a life that has had many facets.

His mother Barbara was there as were all four of his children. His son Sam gave a heartfelt speech touching on his father’s passions and shared times together, especially fly-fishing.

There were friends from before politics when he was a city trader and many friends he has picked up on the way.

Former UKIP leader Paul Nuttall was there, ex-UKIP MEP and Express political editor Patrick O’Flynn and historian David Starkey, and a large contingent of journalists drinking the free champagne.

Former Trump White House aide and Ronald Reagan personal assistant Peggy Grande, an early US ally on Brexit and now a columnist for the Express, flew across the Atlantic to be there.

Comedian Jim Davidson acted as compare – and perhaps was the only person in the room to have led a more riotous life than the birthday boy.

The venue itself – Boisdale – has been a gathering spot for the British political right for many years, not least the pro-smoking Freedom Dinner.

The party gave a flavour of the life that Farage has led over the last six decades. But while some might be considering their pension plans at 60, clearly there is still much more to come from the man who last night was described as “Britain’s most important politician since Margaret Thatcher.”

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