This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
The owner of the Daily Express, Richard Desmond, has made a surprising announcement to donate an extensive £1.3million to Nigel Farage’s faltering general election campaign. Mr Desmond alleged that the cash was part of the UK Independence Party’s drive to win more MPs as a “challenging” gesture to shake up the Westminster establishment.
According to Mr Desmond, the donation was also Mr Farage’s 51st birthday and Mr Farage alleged that it was “one of the best birthday presents ever”. In his remarks, the Ukip leader explained to The Daily Telegraph that “Mr Desmond rang me on my birthday on 3rd April to tell me that he had made his mind up to do it and he and I should meet at the earliest convenient moment.” He explained “it was late afternoon on Good Friday. Richard said to me ‘thank you for having the courage to stand up to the political establishment to try to change things’.” While handing over the cheque to Mr Farage on Thursday, Mr Desmond assured that it should be cleared by early next week.
Ukip has announced that the cash would “be used for a wide range of campaigning activities; ensuring our message gets out far and wide,” whereas Mr Farage added that “it is a donation to the party for the party to spend as it sees fit but he has a very good idea of how we will spend it.” He elucidated that “we will be spending on a variety of things from direct mailing to new media. This money will help us to try to turn the general election away from the endless unfunded frivolous promises to the really big questions that face Britain’s future.” Moreover, Mr Farage stressed that “this money will make a big difference. We are up against the big battalions; this helps significantly,” adding that “it enables us, particularly with our online presence, to reach bigger and bigger audiences. We’ve been doing very well compared to the big parties already and this will make a big difference.”