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Farage's joy turns to fury as he is frozen out of talks

I never get the credit, declares Ukip leader after Leave says it will exclude him from negotiations.

Published: 25th June 2016 11:32 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th June 2016 11:32 AM   |  A+A-

Britain EU_Mukh (1)

United Kingdom Independence Party leader, Nigel Farage, arrives to cast his vote in Biggin Hill, south eastern England. |AP

LONDON: Nigel Farage has reacted with fury after Vote Leave said it would exclude him from a cross-party committee which will negotiate Britain's exit from the European Union.

Mr Farage said he would use his position as head of the Ukip group in the European Parliament - the biggest group of British MEPs - to ensure that he had a say over the terms of British breakaway from the EU.

Senior Vote Leave sources made clear that Mr Farage would not be invited to join the committee negotiating Brexit. One told The Daily Telegraph: "Nigel Farage's involvement has come to an end."

The Ukip leader responded, by saying: "I just don't understand these people - they will never give me credit for anything. I have tried for nearly a year to work with these people and fight on a common agenda and they don't want to know."

Yesterday morning, Mr Farage celebrated the Brexit victory with a breakfast of kippers and champagne.

It was an unexpected triumph. Six hours earlier, he had started the night as a self-declared loser; he ended it as the man who changed Europe.

Even by the standards of a maverick politician, who has survived a plane crash, nearly lost a leg in a car crash and survived cancer, it had been one hell of a roller coaster.

At just after 10pm, he had appeared to have conceded defeat. "It's been an extraordinary referendum campaign, turnout looks to be exceptionally high and [it] looks like Remain will edge it," he told Sky News.

Pundits were convinced it was a "concession speech"; the world's financial markets rejoiced and sterling rose on his pronouncement.

In the space of an hour, Mr Farage would withdraw his concession, then re-concede and then de-reconcede.

At just after 11.30pm, Mr Farage arrived at a Brexit party, organised by Arron Banks, the millionaire insurance broker who backed the unofficial Leave. EU campaign, and held in the Altitude restaurant on the 29th floor of the Millbank towers.

Guests - wearing union flag wristbands - had been entertained by the likes of Kenny Thomas, Gwen Dickey and American soul singer Alexander O'Neal since 8.30pm.

Mr Farage moved through the room slowly, with photographers and reporters backing in front of him, crashing into chairs.

Speaking at the bar, he told The Daily Telegraph that the Government's decision to extend the voter registration deadline, enfranchising an additional two million voters, could favour the Remain side.

Asked if he thought the poll "might fall 52 per cent/48 per cent" in favour of Remain he said: "That sounds about right. Who knows? But we could all be in for the most extraordinary surprise - we were last year."

Mr Farage, sweat pouring down his face, then retreated behind a partition to a private party.

Outside, a large Leave cake - about two feet long by one foot wide - in the shape of an exploding champagne bottle was untouched and ignored. Guests drank champagne and tried on the union jack paper hats which had been scattered around by Mr Banks. The mood was a tad glum.

And then the Sunderland result - the first significant one of the night - happened. Leave supporters erupted - Brexit had won the city by 61 per cent to 39 per cent. A pattern soon emerged, with Leave supporters periodically cheering the results. One of Mr Farage's aides whispered: "I think we might have done it."

The party ended at 2am, and guests were ushered downstairs to another bar. At 2.30am, Mr Farage tweeted "amazing stuff" when Sheffield narrowly voted to leave and he followed that 15 minutes later with: "I now dare to dream that the dawn is coming up on an independent United Kingdom."

He slipped away for a lie down.

There were some questionable moments, noticeably when supporters cheered a chart which appeared on Sky News showing the pound plunging.

But it was job done. At just after 4am, a clearly emotional Mr Farage addressed his jubilant supporters with tears streaming down his face. Standing in front of the ladies' lavatories, he declared to roars of approval: "Dare to dream that the dawn is breaking on an independent United Kingdom.

"This, if the predictions now are right, this will be a victory for real people, a victory for ordinary people, a victory for decent people."

He went on to increasingly triumphant cheers: "And we will have done it without having to fight, without a single bullet being fired, we'd have done it by damned hard work on the ground."

The mention of the bullet made some wince, Jo Cox, the Labour MP having been shot and killed a week before.

Mr Farage was undeterred, concluding: "Let June 23 go down in our history as our independence day."

Later that morning by now having changed into a blue suit and orange tie, a beaming Farage told ITV's Good Morning Britain that David Cameron should quit. "I think we have to have a Brexit prime minister," he said, suggesting Boris Johnson, Michael Gove or Liam Fox should get the job.

Then he admitted that a claim that the pounds 350?million apparently sent every week to the EU would now go to the NHS instead was an error.

"That was one of the mistakes made by the Leave campaign," he said although that admission was too late for anybody who had believed it and voted Brexit as a consequence.

Then asked when he would be having a celebratory pint, Mr Farage admitted: "I've had a couple already."

He addressed the troops on College Green, with Parliament as a backdrop, before moving on to Radio 4's Today programme, where he said June 23 should become a national holiday.

"There are 183 countries in the world who have independence days - what we have just done is we voted to become the 184th," he said with relish.

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