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Nigel Farage revels in role as Britain's 'Brexit King' in West Midlands

By Pete Madeley | Dudley | Brexit | Published:

The rain teemed down but still they came, eager to hear what the country's de facto Brexit King had to say about the shocking state of our stunted departure from the EU.

The rain did not dampen Mr Farage's spirits during his visit to Dudley

With Boris voting for May's deal last time out, the Government in tatters and Corbyn still masquerading as a Remainer, it's down to Nigel Farage to speak for the people.

That's the narrative, anyway, and the former Ukip leader was only too happy to play along when he landed in Dudley on his battle bus – the purple of old now painted over in pale blue.

Mr Farage posed for pictures with Brexit Party supporters during his visit to the Black Country

Despite the fact that the heavens had opened he was in jovial mood, no doubt buoyed by opinion polls putting his party streets ahead in next week's European elections.

"Nice to see this traditional British weather. It's our green and pleasant land remember!" he told anyone within earshot during an impromptu stroll through the market.

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A Farage appearance tends to guarantee a few things.

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A crowd, for one. And they were there in their hundreds, huddled under umbrellas and waving Brexit Party signs. Some sported home-made stickers proclaiming 'Nigel, you are a bostin' bloke'.

A supporter's message in Dudley

His presence also means there will be rancour. Strong emotions will be stirred and vitriol will spew forth.

"Next week's vote will change everything," he told the cheering crowd, before instructing the EU to "whistle Dixie" for its £39bn Brexit divorce bill.

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We were given an early glimpse of the panto season, as 'Peter Pan' Farage reeled off a list of Brexit villains to increasingly loud jeering.

"Donald Tusk!!, Michel Barnier – God help us!!!"; "John Major!!!!, Tony Blair!!!!!, Nick Clegg!!!!!!"

"I've got better than that for you," he says finally, "Anna Soubry!!!!!!"

The sky almost caved in.

Nigel Farage in Dudley

There were few non-believers among the crowd. "Who's bankrolling you, Nigel?" an elderly gentleman piped up, his question ignored.

But as Mr Farage himself is fully aware, he cuts a popular figure in this predominantly Leave-supporting town.

"We've all been let down, from the old to the young. Someone's got to speak the truth," 74-year-old Michael Wilkes told me, signalling his intention to back the Brexit Party on May 23.

The evidence suggests that three years of failure on the part of the political mainstream have done little to dampen the enthusiasm for Brexit in Dudley.

The showers may have washed the last few Remainers away.

Pete Madeley

By Pete Madeley
@P_Madeley_Star

Political Editor for the Express & Star. Responsible for local and national political stories, opinion, comment and analysis.

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