Nigel Farage using sleeping pills to deal with back pain

Nigel Farage with UKIP

Ukip leader Nigel Farage has revealed that he is undergoing treatment for back pain after speculation about his health.

He insisted he was in good enough shape to fight the general election despite being on Temazepam sleeping tablets and receiving hospital treatment twice a week for the recurrence of serious back pain.

Just weeks ago at Ukip’s spring conference, he denied rumours that he was unwell, claiming to be as “fit as a flea” and accusing his political rivals of spreading untruths about his wellbeing.

In his recent autobiographical book, Purple Revolution, he revealed that several health scares including testicular cancer, a car accident and a light aircraft crash had left him with the body of a 70-year-old.

He has now told the Daily Telegraph: “I was not unwell – I have not had heart palpitations - but I was getting increasingly terrible pain in my shoulder, my back and so I was suffering from neuralgic pain.

“I was not ill but I was in a lot of pain and neuralgic pain is horrible. It is nerves. I would move my arm and it would go. I was really having a bad time.”

Earlier this week, Farage acknowledged he had tried to do too much at the beginning of the election contest.

“I started the campaign and think I made some mistakes,” he said. “My desperation for Ukip to do well meant that I really packed the diary and the day in a way that frankly wasn’t very bright. I have now trimmed it back a bit. I’m being a bit more selective.”

Asked whether he had got a bit “wonky” at one point, Farage said: “I was. No, no. Hands up I was. I had completely overdone it. I wasn’t getting it right. I feel a bit of the old vim and vigour back and I’m looking forward to the next fortnight.”

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Rowena Mason Political correspondent, for The Guardian on Friday 24th April 2015 23.07 Europe/London

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