Nigel Farage has admitted it was wrong to accuse European Parliament president Herman Van Rompuy of having "the charisma of a damp rag and the appearance of a low-grade bank clerk", nearly two years after he first made the remarks.
In a broadside at Rompuy he said it was his intention to be the "quiet assassin" of European democracy and called Belgium a "non-country".
"Who voted for you?... We don't know you, we don't want you and the sooner you're put out to grass the better," he said in February 2010.
But the Ukip leader has finally taken back his words telling the Guardian that his tone was "wrong" and he had "apologised to bank clerks the world over".
"In parliaments all over the world you get real confrontation. But the European parliament is not designed for that, because we're not politicians; we're technocrats."
Farage also said his party's anti-European position could end up "forcing David Cameron into giving us a referendum" and he would consider an electoral pact with the Conservatives.Suggest a correction