NIGEL Farage said a vote for the Brexit Party at next week's EU elections is a 'vote for democracy' as he paid a visit to Dudley.

The former UKIP leader turned Brexit Party chief said he 'shouldn't have had' to visit the town to campaign for the election, and blamed the leaders of the Conservatives and Labour for the UK not leaving the EU in March as planned.

Speaking in the town centre on top of a Brexit Party battle bus in the pouring rain, the South East MEP said: "I knew that Dudley was going to vote to leave and sure enough it did. I shouldn't have needed to come to Dudley today.

"The weather today reflects the change in our politics. We were so full of hope that morning after the referendum, we had beaten the establishment, we were on the verge of getting back control of our country.

"Instead three years on we're still being talked down."

A group of supporters booed and jeered when Mr Farage listed EU figureheads such as Michel Barnier and Remain supporting British politicians including Anna Soubry.

Taking a direct aim for the Labour leave vote, Mr Farage accused Labour of 'betraying' democracy 'even worse than the Conservative Party'.

He added: "All of this has been allowed because the leaders of our two main parties made a series of promises they haven't kept but they don't believe in Britain, they don't believe we are good enough to run our own affairs.

"I think we are the greatest country in the world, we are lions led by donkeys and it's time to do something about it.

"We are the fightback on behalf of ordinary people. we believe in our nation and we are not ashamed to say we're patriotic. We absolutely believe in democracy."

Speaking to the News, Mr Farage said that although the EU elections are the main priority, he aims for the Brexit Party to be a major force in the next general election.

He denied that the party is focussed on one issue, and said the party is in the process of formulating policies for a national platform, although the party will have a 'contract' rather than a manifesto.

He said: "This is about protecting our democracy. The people of Dudley need to come out and vote on May 23. A vote for the Brexit Party is a vote for democracy. It is a historic vote that will change everything."

He also dismissed the claim that the emergence of the Brexit Party risks splitting the leave vote, saying that UKIP has 'lost it's way'.

Speaking after Mr Farage's speech, former UKIP councillor and now Brexit Party supporter Dean Perks predicted that the party will sweep the board with the leave vote next Thursday.

He said there was no danger of the newly formed party splitting the leave vote, arguing that the Brexit Party was 'refreshing' and UKIP had become a 'toxic brand'.

He said: "The leave vote will turn out, the remain vote isn't passionate.

"There seems to be more fire in Nigel's belly this time, but there's an anger there that he's having to do it."

The elections for the European Parliament take place on Thursday May 23, with the Brexit Party fielding candidates against Change UK, the Conservatives, the Greens, Labour, the Liberal Democrats and UKIP to represent the West Midlands region.