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The scourge of the establishment strikes again

Rob Stothard/Getty

“Good grief, he has done it again,” says Iain Martin in The Times. Nigel Farage, scourge of the establishment, “Toad of Toad Hall crossed with Del Boy”, has brought down yet another “member of the elite that scorns him”. The former Ukip leader has already defenestrated two Tory prime ministers: David Cameron, whom he pushed into holding the Brexit referendum; and Theresa May, whose deal with Brussels he and his Brexit Party smashed to smithereens. Now it’s Alison Rose, who resigned as NatWest boss over the closure of Farage’s Coutts account. “Why do members of the establishment keep walking into this trap?” Why do they think “Britain’s most successful campaigner” will be a walkover? As one of his friends told me: “Of all the people to pick a fight with, don’t pick a fight with him.”

The irony is that Farage has always “craved establishment recognition”. Yet since the 2016 referendum, “he has been disdained”. Credit for Brexit has largely gone to big-name Tories. He hasn’t received an honour, “not even the smallest bauble”. This rejection annoys Farage because he knows he is “perhaps the most significant British political figure since Margaret Thatcher”. And in 250 years’ time, when no one even remembers Boris Johnson or Tony Blair, historians will still be writing about Farage, that symbol of the “anti-globalist populism” of the early 21st century. Yes, the establishment can deny him the pleasure of using his Coutts account to buy a “large gin and tonic” at the House of Lords bar. But he’ll have “the last laugh”.