Nigel Farage today completed a provocative victory lap in front of a stunned European Parliament after his triumph in the EU referendum.
The Ukip leader made the astonishing speech to MEPs during heated and dramatic scenes at an emergency session to discuss the fallout over the Brexit vote.
In comments following an angry speech from European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, Mr Farage accused the EU of deceiving people across the continent.
He said: “Isn’t it funny. When I came here 17 years ago and said I wanted to lead a campaign to get Britain to leave the European Union, you all laughed at me.
“Well, I have to say you’re not laughing now are you?
“And the reason you’re so upset, the reason you’re so angry has been perfectly clear from all the angry exchanges this morning. You as a political project are in denial.”
The politician’s speech was punctuated by both boos and applause from other parts of the chamber.
At one point when he accused MEPs of never having had “a proper job”, European Parliament president had to intervene to tell jeering politicians to stop “acting like Ukip”.
Mr Farage went on to say: “What happened last Thursday was a remarkable result, it was a seismic result, not just for British politics and European politics but perhaps even for global politics too.
“What the little people did, what the ordinary people did, what the people who had been oppressed over the last few years and seen their living standards go down, they rejected the multinationals, they rejected the merchant banks, they rejected the big politics.
“They said ‘Actually, we want our country back. We want our fishing waters back. We want our borders back. We want an independent, self-governing, normal nation and that is what we have done.”
“The United Kingdom will not be the last member state to leave the European Union.”
The Ukip leader and Mr Juncker both clashed – and embraced – during the emergency session.
“Why are you here?” the European Commission had president demanded to know as he opened his own speech with Mr Farage and fellow eurosceptic MEPs sat at an adjacent desk.
“That’s the last time you are applauding here,” Mr Juncker said after Mr Farage applauded his opening statement that Europe “must respect British democracy and the way it has expressed its view”.
“To some extent I am really surprised that you are here,” he told him.
“You were fighting for the exit, the British people voted in favour of the exit. Why are you here?”
The pair were seen to share an embrace, with the famously tactile Mr Juncker appearing to kiss the politician on the ear.
SOURCE: EVENING STANDARD