New Direction for 2019 leave means leave
The party was launched on 20 January 2019 by former UKIP economics spokeswoman Catherine Blaiklock. It was recognised by the United Kingdom Electoral Commission on 5 February 2019 as duly registered to run candidates in any English, Scottish, Welsh and European Union elections.
On the day of the launch, Nigel Farage, who had been an independent MEP since his departure from UKIP in early December 2018, said that the party was Blaiklock’s idea, but that she had acted with his support. In a 24 January 2019 interview, Blaiklock said: “I won’t run it without Nigel [Farage], I’m a nobody and I haven’t got any ego to say that I am an anybody”, and that: “I’m happy to facilitate Nigel and do the donkey work and work for him, but I don’t have any allusions [sic] as to myself”. On 8 February 2019, Farage stated he would stand as a candidate for the party in any potential future European Parliament elections contested in the United Kingdom.MEPs Steven Woolfe and Nathan Gill, also formerly of UKIP, stated that they would also stand for the party.
On 1 February 2019, Blaiklock told The Daily Telegraph the party had raised £1 million in donations, and that over 200 people have come forward offering to stand for The Brexit Party at the May 2019 European Parliament elections, if the United Kingdom has not left the European Union by then.
After the party’s launch, Blaiklock attracted criticism for prior comments described as Islamophobic.