Fetch the violins: mournful Farage talks of feeling ‘like a wanted person’

Nigel Farage at a Leave Means Leave rally at Central Hall in London. He has shown support for a no-d

Nigel Farage at a Leave Means Leave rally at Central Hall in London. He has shown support for a no-deal Brexit. Picture: PA/Kirsty O'Connor - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Nigel Farage has told a magazine for the super-rich of the 'horrible' hatred he has endured after leading the campaign for Brexit.

The former three-time Ukip leader, speaking to the editor of Spear's, said it was a 'shock' that he received abuse during a campaign during which he unveiled a poster showing a queue of mostly non-white migrants allegedly heading to Britain.

He told the magazine: 'I remember when it first started it was a little bit of a shock.

'I don't think I was really under any illusions – I mean, I always knew that if it became a mass movement and very popular, then it was going to be very hard. I was under no real illusions about it.

'But it's been... yeah, I guess, it's surprised me. The sheer extent of it has surprised me, but, yep.'

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Painting pictures with words, the magazine's editor, Alec Marsh describes how 'his voice trails away. The Farage bravura has suddenly vanished. I ask what it's been like, dealing with the emotional antagonism.'

The MEP of 20 years' standing said: 'Why do you think I go for a pint?', while, according to Marsh, lifting his glass and chuckling before continuing his 'sombre note'.

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He said: 'Some of it's been horrible. Some of it has been hard. And you almost feel like a wanted person at times.

'You're surrounded by security – and he's there now – in the car, he's watching.

'There were times in the referendum when I had to be surrounded by people. It's so rough out there. But I guess that's the world we live in.'

Spear's describes its readership as 'made up of extremely wealthy individuals and families (average assets of £5 million+) and ranges from hedge fund managers to property developers, rock stars to Rich-Listers, entrepreneurs and entertainers'.

Farage himself is famously courteous in interactions with his political opponents, telling former EU president Herman Van Rompuy to his face he had 'all the charisma of a damp rag and the appearance of a low-grade bank clerk' and describing his homeland, Belgium, as a 'non-country'.

Elsewhere in the interview Farage says his friend Donald Trump's unpopularity in Britain had rubbed off on him 'maybe a touch'.

He said: 'I knew at the time that it would have an effect, but I thought it was the right thing to do.

'Again you make decisions not based on short-term popularity but on what you think the right thing to do is. There is some truth in that.

'I could be completely wrong, but I think my support base amongst the British public is still there. I genuinely do.'

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