A spokesperson for the Southend Christmas Lights Consortium has announced that Nigel Farage has agreed to switch on this year’s festive display after the town ‘performed admirably’ during the EU Referendum in June. 

The outgoing UKIP leader told Southend News Network’s Chief Reporter that backing Brexit was a ‘bold and future-thinking move’ by the people of Southend, and so agreeing to attend the annual gathering was the ‘right thing to do.’

He added: ‘We have our country back, and in spite of constant funding cuts and council jiggery-pokery Southend has its Christmas lights back.’ 

‘Every pound kept from flying into the EU’s coffers can be spent on feelgood-building events like these, and I’m delighted that sensible local people realised that the list of ‘leave’ reasons was longer than the famous pier!’

‘I promise that I’ll keep my speech short and sweet – everyone must be sick of the site of me by now! It is an honour to be chosen for the big night though, as they could have asked half of S-Club 7 or Jamie Oliver.’

In a further development, the chairman of the Leigh Yuletide Electrified Ambient Light Displayorama Festivities Commission confirmed that the town’s ‘artisan’ switch on would be carried out by whoever they can find with a handlebar moustache and a quadruple-barrelled name. 

A spokesperson for Southchurch Lights said that the switch-on would be low key due to the likelihood of the entire display disappearing and ending up on someone’s house near Cluny Square.