Nigel Farage offers five-word reply to I’m A Celeb rival Fred’s brutal put-down

Nigel Farage has refused to engage with criticism from his I’m A Celebrity! rival Fred Sirieix.

The First Dates presenter hit out at the Reform UK leader’s foray into the election and said Mr Farage “just rants” and has “no vision” for the country. When asked for his response to the comments, Mr Farage simply said: “Jolly good, Fred. Happy birthday.”

Speaking at a hastily arranged press conference in Westminster, Mr Farage boasted that he is now the “leader of the opposition” as he said the Tory brand is “broken”. Mr Farage announced he was standing to be MP for Clacton and that he would lead Reform UK into the General Election in a shock U-turn a fortnight ago.

Following the announcement, Mr Sirieix wrote: “I spoke at length and extensively with Nigel Farage for 3 weeks while in the jungle. I wanted to make my own mind up about him and his views. Conclusion is simple. He was very good at washing the dishes in the river but when it comes to politics he has no plan and no substance.”

The First Dates presenter hit out the Reform UK leader

The First Dates presenter hit out at the Reform UK leader

Fred Sirieix was on I'm a Celeb! at the same time as Nigel Farage

Fred Sirieix was on I’m a Celeb! at the same time as Nigel Farage

And in a further post on Twitter/X the First Dates host wrote: “No vision. No concrete policies. He is not interested in making the UK/the world a better place. He just rants.”

Mr Farage has faced criticism over his announcement to stand in Clacton, which came despite him telling the Times in February: “Do I want to spend every Friday for the next five years in Clacton?”

When he launched his campaign in the area later in the week, he was joined by a flock of supporters – and protestors. Some held a sign reading: “Farage not welcome here.” Local residents suggested he was an opportunist with one telling the Guardian he was a “comedian”. Brian Kiely, who has lived in Clacton for 27 years, said: “He thinks he can just come down here at the drop of a hat. I’m afraid if he thinks he can just walk in here and win he’s in for a shock.”

But Mr Farage has been boosted by a poll on Thursday showing Reform UK overtaking the Tories for the first time. The YouGov survey showed support for his party rising by two points to 19%, as the Tories remained on 18%.

He has now claimed Reform UK could win over six million votes – a target he will now be measured on meeting – as well as branding himself the “voice of the opposition”. Mr Farage told reporters on Friday: “It isn’t going to be Rishi Sunak leading the opposition – I mean, he’ll probably be in California anyway.

“The Conservatives will choose someone and they probably won’t last very long. And they can’t provide opposition because they are hopelessly split down the middle on policy … I put it to you that I believe I can be that voice of opposition.”

Pressed on whether he would be better off joining the Tories if he wanted to be Leader of the Opposition, Mr Farage said: “Boring, boring, boring”. “The brand is broken. It’s gone. It’s done,” he added.