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End of ‘age of Boris’ could lead to a civil war on the right and the re-emergence of Nigel Farage says top academic

29 Jan 2022 2 minute read
Richard Wyn Jones. Picture by Plaid Cymru

The end of the “age of Boris” could lead to a civil war on the far right with others such as Nigel Farage seeing their opportunity to rise back to prominence, a top Welsh political academic has said.

Prof. Richard Wyn Jones, Director of Cardiff University’s Wales Governance, said that even if Boris Johnson “scrapes on” for another few years he will leave a leadership vacuum for other right-wing populist politicians.

Writing in the Welsh language Barn magazine, Richard Wyn Jones said that the Conservative party was now altogether in the hands of the populist right-wing faction of the party and that the “even more extreme right” had also been emboldened.

“It’s very possible that the person looking forward most to the fall of Johnson is his nemesis, Dominic Cummings,” Richard Wyn Jones said. “But I would suggest that the second person after that is Nigel Farage.

“This is because of the extent to which Johnson managed over the last few years to steal his mantle as the favourite of the English right-wing press.

“This meant that there was no political space for poor Farage, and he had to content himself with trying to start a new career as a financial consultant.

“But with ‘Boris’ on the rocks, ‘Nigel’ can step back from the shadows once more knowing that there are plenty of generous financiers willing to support him to ensure that the Tories keep a hold of the most reactionary elements of Johnson’s agenda.”

Richard Wyn Jones added: “It’s possible that what will follow ‘Boris’ on the right will be a permanent civil war with everyone competing for the prize of being recognised as the keepers of the flame ignited by the referendum of 2016.”

He warned however that a civil war on the right would not necessarily hand Labour the keys to power, noting that even in 2005 – Labour’s last victory – the Conservatives won the most votes in England.

“Even if Boris Johnson is a shadow of his former self and his days as leader numbered, many of the conditions that made ‘Boris’ possible remain in place,” Richard Wyn Jones said.

The entire article can be read in Welsh in Barn magazine.

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