LONDON — Pro-, anti-immigration campaigner Nigel Farage stepped back into front-line British politics on Monday, announcing he will take the helm of the right-wing party Reform U.K. and run for Parliament in the upcoming General Election.

Farage said he’ll run in the seaside town of Clacton-on-Sea in his eighth attempt to win a seat in the House of Commons. The announcement came just days after Farage said he would not be a candidate because it was more important to support his ally Donald Trump in the U.S. presidential election in November.

While Farage stands a chance of getting elected on July 4, he acknowledged that his larger goal is to lead the “real” opposition to a Labour Party government if the governing Conservative Party loses, as many expect.

Farage said he wanted to lead a “political revolt … a turning of our backs on the political status quo.”

He’s aiming to repeat the populist political pressure that pushed for, and then won, on taking the U.K. out of the European Union.

“I can’t turn my back on those millions of people who followed me, believed in me,” Farage said. “I’ve changed my mind because I can’t let down millions of people.”

Farage also said he would take over as leader of Reform, successor to the Brexit Party. That role has been held since Reform was founded by Richard Tice, with Farage serving as honorary president.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s center-right Conservatives, who have been in office for 14 years, are battling a widespread sense that voters want change. On July 4, voters across the U.K. will elect lawmakers to fill all 650 seats in the House of Commons. The leader of the party that can command a Commons majority — either alone or in coalition — will become prime minister.

The favorite is Labour Party leader Keir Starmer, who pledged Monday to keep the U.K.’s nuclear weapons as he seeks to dispel criticisms that his center-left party is soft on defense.

His campaign is centered on his claim to have transformed the party since he replaced Jeremy Corbyn, a longtime opponent of nuclear weapons and critic of NATO, as Labour leader in 2020.

“My commitment to the nuclear deterrent is absolute,” Starmer said Monday during a campaign appearance at a military museum in Bury, northwest England.

“Nobody who aspires to be prime minister would set out the circumstances in which it would be used. That would be irresponsible, but it is there as part of a vital part of our defense, so of course we would have to be prepared to use it,” he said.

Britain has been a nuclear power since the 1950s, and both Labour and Conservative governments have consistently supported atomic weapons. Since the 1990s, Britain’s nuclear deterrent has consisted of four Royal Navy submarines armed with Trident missiles.

Starmer said a Labour government would build the four new nuclear submarines that the Conservatives have already committed to. He criticized the Conservatives for defense spending cuts that had given the U.K. “the smallest army since the time of Napoleon,” the French leader who fought Britain 200 years ago.

He said the world had entered “a new age of insecurity” and “national security is the most important issue of our times.”

The schism between pro- and anti-nuclear forces was long a fault-line in the Labour Party. It was Prime Minister Clement Attlee’s Labour government that developed the atomic bomb in the years following World War II, making Britain the world’s third nuclear-armed state after the United States and the Soviet Union.

Starmer said his entire top team shared his commitment to the nuclear arsenal, even though several members, including deputy leader Angela Rayner and foreign affairs spokesman David Lammy, voted against renewing Trident in 2016.

He also pledged that a Labour government would increase defense spending to 2.5% of Gross Domestic Product, though he has not set a deadline. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak says his Conservatives will meet the target by 2030.

Defense Secretary Grant Shapps said Starmer had delivered “another empty speech.”

“By refusing to commit to 2.5% defense spending by 2030 he has been unable to show the clear and bold leadership this country needs in uncertain times,” Shapps said.