POLITICS
06/09/2013 07:01 BST

Farage Says 'Ukip Effect' Responsible For Government's Defeat In Commons Vote On Syria

Ukip was decisive in swinging the Commons vote against British military intervention in Syria, according to Nigel Farage.

Appearing at a rally in Telford on Thursday evening, Farage spoke of the "Ukip effect", advancing the notion that MPs were concerned that voting in favour of the government's plan would have led to a migration of traditional Tory voters to the Ukip camp.

Farage has staunchly opposed British military intervention in the Syrian civil war, despite the chemical attack on civilians in late August, allegedly carried out by the Assad regime.

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Farage highlighting his party's stance on British military intervention in Syria last month

Last week the Ukip chief appeared on the Russia state-run broadcaster Russia Today, warning that Britain could not go to war with Syria "on a whim", adding: "Horrible though it is, there is nothing the British military can do to make things better."

Speaking to a large crowd on Thursday, the MEP said: "Elected members in the House of Commons are in fear of the electorate at present. That's a good and happy state of affairs, in my opinion. A lot of the rebels who voted against the Government's motion on Syria have small majorities in areas where UKIP polled well. They were clearly worried that it may have been the final straw.

"I am convinced that it would not have happened had it not been for the Ukip effect. British politics is changing more dramatically than at any time in my life."

Organised by prospective Shropshire MEP Jill Seymour, more than 600 attended the rally to hear Farage speak, alongside other luminaries of the right, including Neil and Christine Hamilton, who are both expected to stand for Ukip in next year's European election.