Nigel Farage has described Friday’s debate between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn as “very repetitive”, saying: “I just don’t think this is a very inspiring campaign.”
The Brexit Party leader accused the rivals of being overly cautious during the BBC event, saying it was “not terribly exciting” to watch.
He told the PA news agency: “(There were) a couple of flashpoints that were interesting, a couple of sparks, but generally both were playing incredibly safe, both defending rather than attacking.
“(It was) repetitive, very, very repetitive.
Asked his opinion on the two leaders, Mr Farage said: “The one thing that you can say is that at least there’s a difference between them. The criticism 10 or 15 years ago was that they were all the same, so there is at least a difference between them in terms of ideology.”
He added: “I just don’t think this is a very inspiring campaign.”
He was speaking during a trip to Sedgefield, County Durham, during which he donned a hard hat and protective glasses as he toured the factory of Tolley Fabrications, a company specialising in aluminium, stainless steel and super duplex manufacturing.
While there, he was asked who out of Mr Johnson or Mr Corbyn he trusted most, to which he laughed and responded: “Do you know something, that’s the most difficult question I’ve been asked.
“I’ve known Boris on and off for 25 years, and he is a likeable, entertaining personalty. Would you absolutely trust him? No.
He added: “’Get Brexit done’ is an attractive line to a country where a lot of people are utterly cheesed off that this has been going on for three-and-a-half years.
“The idea that somebody’s going to wave a magic wand is very appealing, and if it was true I would support him 100%.
“But it’s not. If he passes the Withdrawal Agreement unamended, we go into three more years of agony. It will be Brexit in name only, but we’ll still be stuck with all the European rules and regulations, with no say whatsoever and with a huge bill.”
Mr Farage also criticised the four former Brexit Party MEPs who have voiced their support for the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal, saying: “They were elected to change politics for good, not to support the same bad old politics.”
Annunziata Rees-Mogg, sister of Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg, Lance Forman and Lucy Harris all resigned to back Boris Johnson’s deal, while John Longworth lost the whip for “repeatedly undermining” the party’s election strategy.
Mr Farage told the PA news agency: “They were elected because we were opposed to Mrs (Theresa) May’s deal. Boris Johnson’s deal isn’t very different.
“A lot of people have been promised an awful lot, let’s just put it like that.”
When asked whether he had pulled out of a defence rally in Westminster on Friday because he feared he would be asked questions on the resignations, he said: “The day before, I did the Andrew Neil interview, so if I was worried about questions I’d be like Boris and I’d have pulled out of that, wouldn’t I?”
Mr Farage also criticised Mr Johnson for his apparent reluctance to be interviewed by Mr Neil himself.
He said: “I think people deserve a little more leadership, a little bit more courage than that. Andrew Neil’s not that frightening.
“Gosh, if you’re Prime Minister, what’s he scared of?”