NIGEL FARAGE has finally put his money where his mouth is. It has made uncomfortable viewing to see him heading Reform’s campaign while being completely unaccountable and liable to bale out to Donald Trump’s side at any moment.

Now he has stolen a tactic from Keir Starmer’s playbook and flip-flopped: he will stand for Clacton at the forthcoming election and has pledged to lead Reform for the next five years.

Mr Farage has been one of the most consequential politicians of his generation, despite failing to be elected to the House of Commons on seven occasions. He spooked the Conservatives into granting the Brexit referendum and led the campaign with crystal clarity.

His speech, delivered with his usual panache, will strike a chord with those voters who feel Britain is in a state of “social and moral decline”, and if his statistic is correct that 52 per cent of young adults aged 18 to 34 do not know what D-Day commemorates, it is a sorry indictment of our educational system.

But what answers does Reform have, other than appealing to those who don’t like any of the above? Brexit has not made the country wealthier, and we don’t seem to have taken back control of anything. The Tories are letting in vast numbers of legal migrants but that’s because, sadly, they plug our gaps – one in four of our careworkers was born outside the UK.

It is to be hoped that the election now doesn’t just become about migration because Britain’s problems are bigger than that.

But it is going to be fascinating to see how the Tories respond: will they lurch right, will there be more defections? And what will happen to those red wall voters who backed Boris Johnson and who Labour hoped were returning to them?

Just by standing, Mr Farage has enlivened the election, but so far he has created more questions than answers.