NPR新闻:Britain's Nigel Farage, Brexit Champion, Quits His Post With Right-Wing UKIP

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Another day, another resignation in British politics. Nigel Farage was one of the loudest voices in favor of a British exit from the European Union, and today he stepped down as the head of the U.K. Independence Party known as UKIP. He said his work was complete. Lauren Frayer reports from London.

LAUREN FRAYER, BYLINE: After his side's victory in the Brexit vote, Nigel Farage sauntered last week into the European Parliament where he's held a seat since 1999. He had a smirk on his face.

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NIGEL FARAGE: Isn't it funny? You know, when I came here 17 years ago and I said that I wanted to lead a campaign to get Britain to leave the European Union, you all laughed at me. Well, I have to say, you're not laughing now, are you?

FRAYER: He accused his fellow lawmakers of never having held a proper job in their lives. Behind him, a Lithuanian cardiac surgeon put his face in his hands. Farage fancies himself a regular guy from the pub who tells it like it is. He once accused the president of the European Council, a quiet, former Belgian prime minister, of having the charisma of a damp rag and the appearance of a low-grade bank clerk. Farage himself once worked in finance.

Today he resigned as the head of the U.K. Independence Party or UKIP, a one-issue party that got its wish with that Brexit vote.

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FARAGE: I've done my bit. I couldn't possibly achieve more than we managed to get in that referendum, and so I feel it's right that I should now stand aside as leader of UKIP.

FRAYER: He's accused of unleashing anti-immigrant sentiment across Britain and then promptly exiting stage right. His wife is an EU migrant from Germany, by the way. In downtown London, Britons say they're bewildered.

GRAEME CHURCH: Every day brings something else - today Nigel Farage (laughter). So we'll see what happens tomorrow.

FRAYER: Graeme Church is a Scottish computer engineer visiting London for a long weekend. He's dismayed that Farage has quit right after another top Brexit campaigner, Boris Johnson, bailed out of the race for U.K. prime minister.

CHURCH: Maybe he should've stayed on and fixed the mess that he's created. I for one didn't want the U.K. to leave Europe, but now that it has, I think it should be fixed by the people who brought us into this position.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Boris lied to a whole country.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Shame on you. Shame on you. (Unintelligible).

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Boris is a liar.

FRAYER: Liar, shame on you, hecklers shouted at Johnson in southwest England over the weekend.

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UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: Boris, you're a massive child.

FRAYER: Some of the promises he and Farage made about Brexit, about the U.K. economy getting a boost and 350 million more British pounds going to the National Health Service are unlikely to come to pass. A photo is circulating on social media of Johnson bicycling to work. A fellow cyclist can be seen making an obscene gesture in his direction.

The last Brexit leader standing may be Michael Gove, the justice secretary who is running to replace David Cameron as prime minister. Tomorrow Parliament begins witling down the list of five contenders who've thrown their names into the ring, five people who do want to lead Britain through whatever happens next. For NPR News, I'm Lauren Frayer in London.

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