11 July 2024

Nigel Farage takes Commons seat after his eighth election bid

11 July 2024

Nigel Farage has formally taken his seat in the House of Commons after his eighth election run.

The Reform UK leader opted to swear in holding the King James Bible, ahead of the King’s Speech next Wednesday, after he secured a place in the chamber representing the Essex seaside constituency of Clacton.

Former home secretary and potential Tory leadership contender Suella Braverman also made an affirmation of allegiance to the Crown on the third day of swearing in, alongside her party colleague and shadow security minister Tom Tugendhat and Labour MP Georgia Gould whose father Baron Philip Gould was a leading adviser to Tony Blair.

Mr Farage gave his name as “Nigel Paul Farage”.

He said: “I swear by Almighty God that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to His Majesty The King Charles, his heirs and successors, according to law. So help me God.”

Mr Farage first contested a parliamentary election 30 years ago – the 1994 by-election in Eastleigh, Hampshire, where his UK Independence Party (UKIP) came fourth to the Liberal Democrats.

He later contested seats throughout southern England as the UKIP candidate before his Clacton win for Reform UK, with 21,225 votes, ahead of the Tories’ Giles Watling on 12,820.

Ms Braverman, who won the Fareham and Waterlooville seat in Hampshire, made an affirmation holding the Dhammapada, a Buddhist text.

She has been at the National Conservatism conference in Washington DC earlier this week and appeared at a Popular Conservatism – PopCon – summit in central London via video, where she told activists: “Left wing voters have had a choice of party to go for and we by contrast have had the luxury of a monopoly, but no longer, and that is why the Reform party presents an existential threat to us electorally.”

After Ms Braverman swore in, Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle hugged her and said she was “very lucky” to return to the House of Commons after the Tories suffered significant losses throughout southern England in the vote last week – including in Portsmouth North where former Commons leader Penny Mordaunt lost to Labour and Chichester where former education secretary Gillian Keegan lost to the Liberal Democrats.

Mr Tugendhat, who represents Tonbridge in Kent, and Nick Timothy, former Number 10 chief of staff to Theresa May and now MP for West Suffolk, swore in on a Jerusalem Bible, while Ms Gould, of Queen’s Park and Maida Vale in London, swore in on the Torah.

Independent MPs Iqbal Mohamed, representing Dewsbury and Batley in Yorkshire, and Shockat Adam, of Leicester South, also took their places in the Commons after swearing in.

Mr Mohamed wore a Palestine flag pin badge as he made his affirmation.

Mr Adam chatted with the Speaker after his swearing in, who waved to Mr Adam’s family as they watched on from the gallery.

Labour MP Torcuil Crichton has taken his place in the Commons for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, choosing to swear on a Gaelic Bible in Gaelic first, while his party’s MP for Clwyd East Becky Gittins who followed swore in on the King James Bible in Welsh.

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