Mr Mercer had quit his seat as MP for Newark, in Nottinghamshire, after facing a six-month ban from parliament over allegation to have tabled questions in the House of Commons and offered a Westminster security pass after signing a deal that paid him £4,000 for seeking the readmission of Fiji to the Commonwealth in May 2013.
The former army colonel has said on Tuesday night how much he was “ashamed” and that now he had to “put it right”.
“No point in shilly shallying and trying to avoid it. What’s happened has happened and I’m ashamed of it.”
However, Mr Farage has said he did not want to distract from the party’s campaign for next month’s European elections, where he predicted Ukip would cause an “earthquake in British politics”.
The Ukip leader has told: “I don’t want to do anything that deflects from the European election campaign, so I am not going to stand in this by-election.
“I want to focus the next three weeks on winning the European elections.”
The Ukip leader had to face criticism over the announcement as a Labour MP John Mann says that Nigel Farage has ‘bottled it’ by deciding not to take part in the by-election.
Newark’s neighbouring MP in Bassetlaw has said this was about the UKIP leader being scared of damaging his ‘ego’ by losing the contest.
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