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Leader wanted quick death'

PUBLISHED: 13:30 13 May 2010 | UPDATED: 09:54 12 August 2010

UKIP Leader Nigel Farage has described praying for a quick death as his plane plummeted into the ground during a publicity stunt on election day.

UKIP Leader Nigel Farage has described praying for a quick death as his plane plummeted into the ground during a publicity stunt on election day.

The 46-year-old revealed how it is the SECOND time he has cheated death after a car crash in 1985 when he spent months recovering in Bromley Hospital.

The South East MEP, who lives in Westerham, and pilot Justin Adams got into difficulty trying to hook a UKIP banner onto their plane last Thursday. They continued to climb but then nose-dived into the ground in Northamptonshire.

He said: "I was just numbly thinking 'this is the end, I hope this is quick'. After a huge bang we came to rest and then I was trapped. I was hurt, but not massively. That was the time to think.

"I realised I was covered in petrol and I was really, really scared. Then I thought about my kids, my family, my life. That was very frightening indeed. It was difficult to stop myself hyperventilating.

"I am severely incapacitated now and am in a lot of pain. Without the painkillers I can't move.

"I am never getting in a small plane again. I was not a good flyer before. Whether I'll get on a jet to America is a different matter. It was a terrifying experience. Very few people walk away from something like that."

Mr Farage spent two days in hospital but is now back at home with his wife Kirsten recovering with a cracked chest bone, chipped vertebrae, several broken ribs and a punctured lung.

Asked if it had changed his outlook on life, he said: "Well this has happened before when I was in a major traffic accident in 1985. That was life threatening. I spent months in Bromley Hospital. My opponents will be pleased to know that this will only make me more determined."

Mr Farage was unable to attend the count at Aylesbury Civic Centre where his rival, Commons Speaker John Bercow, was re-elected to his Buckingham seat. He said: "I did watch the election coverage but I was in a daze and very drugged up on morphine and other things."

It is believed the rope of the banner, which read 'Vote for your country, vote UKIP', got stuck in the rudder tail, causing the plane to plummet.

His mother, Barbara Stevens, who lives in Downe, said: "It is a miracle. Nobody survives a thing like this. I said to him 'why did you go up on election day?'. He said 'I thought it would be a good publicity stunt.' Well it went beyond that. The whole family is delighted that he is okay. My younger son is a pilot and said he is very, very lucky to be alive.

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