Published: 21:36, 06 March 2021
| Updated: 22:18, 06 March 2021
Nigel Farage has announced he is leaving frontline politics by stepping down as leader for Reform UK.
Taking to social media tonight, he said he had been involved in 'active politics' for 30 years and now was the right moment to leave - and it would be for good.
Mr Farage, who has lived in north Kent, is a former Ukip leader. He launched the Brexit Party, he says when he realised Britain was being 'betrayed' by the EU deal being negotiated by Theresa May.
He later renamed it Reform UK after the UK formally quit the EU.
Before that he had led Ukip from 2006 to 2009 and again from 2010 to 2016.
He stood for a Parliamentary seat in 2015 when he made an ill-fated attempt to become the South Thanet MP but was narrowly defeated by the Conservative Craig Mackinlay.
He had announced then his intention to leave politics, saying in 2016 that he 'wanted his life back.'
But by May 2019, his Brexit party emerged as the clear winner in the European Parliament elections in Kent and Mr Farage became one of four MEPs elected across the south east.
Speaking tonight he said: "If it hadn't been for the EU membership, I wouldn't have even stood for a local council. That became my life's goal, it was a goal which took over the best part of three decades of my life.
"I feel now we are fighting elections in May, now is the moment to say, 'I've done it.' It's a repeat of 2016 when I said I want my life back, but now is the moment for me to say I'm not going to go on as leader of Reform UK.'
The leadership passes to Richard Tice.
Mr Farage stressed he was not retiring and would use his social media channels to continue to campaign.
"There are lots of other things I want to fight for - the increasing influence of the Chinese Communist Party over our lives and how the British government has sold out on this issue."
He also plans to fight on environmental causes.
Immigration still remains one of Mr Farage's hottest topics.
Just last weekend The Home Office took the unusual step of rejecting his claims that 12 asylum seekers who arrived at Dover all tested positive for Covid.
The former Ukip leader posted the allegation on Twitter, demanding that Home Secretary Priti Patel 'gets a grip.' The claim was retweeted more than 20,000 times.
The Home Office publicly responded to the tweet - initially saying none of the 12 had tested positive, before later revising the figure to one.
The Reform Party stated last year its aim was to ensure Britain was 'not sold down the river' during the EU transition period.
It's mission statement added: "This year  has reinforced the need to take on the bloated institutions and major vested interests. The House of Lords, the BBC, the way we vote, law and order, immigration, to name but a few.
"The most pressing issue is the government’s woeful response to coronavirus. The government has dug itself into a hole and rather than admit its mistakes, it keeps on digging.
"The new national lockdown will result in more life-years lost than it hopes to save, as non-Covid patients with cancer, cardiac, lung and other illnesses have treatments delayed or cancelled again."