Nigel Farage attends a rally with the Brexit Party’s European election candidates at the Corn Exchange in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Nigel Farage’s startup politics
The Brexit Party’s company structure makes its leader uniquely powerful in British politics.
By Tom McTague
Updated 5/20/19, 4:33 AM CET
LONDON — Nigel Farage isn’t the leader of a political party. He’s the CEO, chairman and owner combined.
By the beginning of May the Brexit Party was already polling first in the European Parliament election, with the former UKIP chief leading the charge across the country under the banner of democratic “betrayal.”
But Farage’s formal takeover of the Brexit Party did not come until May 9, a week after the local elections, according to official documents lodged with Companies House. It was only then that “The Brexit Party Limited” — the company behind the party that was created in November last year — gave notice that Farage had taken “significant control” of the business, with the right to remove and replace a majority of the board of directors.
The company documents reveal a unique structure for a U.K. political party which gives almost total control to its leader, front of shop — and back. The party is set to win the European election popular vote — it is currently polling at 30 percent, according to the latest POLITICO-Hanbury poll — and the highest number of seats, according to POLITICO’s poll of polls.
The Brexit Party has ambitions far beyond being simply a vehicle for Brexiteer protest votes.