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Nigel Farage Launched UKIP's Election Campaign And Got Mobbed By Journalists

This was no place for short people.

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Farage was swamped as soon as he arrived in Smith Square, Westminster. Some reporters thought he might have planned it that way.

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He unveiled five key pledges: leaving the EU, controlling Britain's borders, extra cash for the NHS, cutting foreign aid, and not taxing the minimum wage.

But there was still quite a lot of pushing and shoving.

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In middle of a media scrum Farage asked if there's a chance he'll get 'squeezed'? Replies: "It looks like it! Crushed I think!"

UKIP chair Steve Crowther said the scrum showed just how times had changed.

"I think clearly UKIP is one of the stories of the election and this does reflect it," he told BuzzFeed News. "If I go back to 2010, we were just sort of a sideshow – but clearly we're front and centre now."

If one thing sums up the scale of UKIP's rise it's this - somewhere in that scrum is Farage

Patrick O'Flynn, UKIP's economic spokesperson, said: "Nigel is going to have to get used to this scale of media attention over the next few weeks."

"Ofcom has ranked us as a major party, Nigel is a major figure, it definitely feels that this is the big league," he added. "And there's no point complaining about being hemmed in occasionally because the media is a way to get our message out."

O'Flynn denied that UKIP was in danger of becoming a one-man show.

"We do need to show that we've got a team of competent people behind him and around him," he said, "but we must also be realistic that Nigel is massively our highest-profile person.

"He's broken through as a politician who connects with all sorts of people from all sorts of backgrounds and we're very lucky to have him."

Emily Ashton is a senior political correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Emily Ashton at emily.ashton@buzzfeed.com.

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