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Nigel directs Question Time debate after his disappointing day

On-off Ukip leader Nigel Farage topped the day’s headlines – and then played it all down as the BBC’s Question Time programme visited Brunel University London.

The controversial MEP was at the centre of a political storm earlier in the day as the media reported calls from within the party for him to face a leadership contest.

But Mr Farage simply said he was "disappointed" with some members of Ukip, however he could understand it because "General Elections are like a boiler room and people need to let off steam”.

He joined a lively debate in the university’s Eastern Gateway Auditorium with panelists including health secretary Jeremy Hunt, shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt, editor of The Economist Zanny Minton Beddoes and Queen guitarist Brian May.

The focus of much of the audience's attention, Mr Farage admitted that he had "changed his mind" about quitting Ukip, adding: "I did resign. I went and sat in a darkened room and thought 'what do I do?'" But the members of his party had given him new hope. "I felt, quite frankly, moved by the strength of their appeal," he said.

Interrogated by a 200-strong audience, made up of members of the public, and university staff and students, the panel discussed everything from a rudderless Labour party to a referendum on Europe.

When asked if Prime Minister David Cameron wanted to leave the European Union, Mr Hunt said: “I don’t think so…but he wants to renegotiate the deal.” Mr May, a campaigner for animal rights, responded: “Why is he offering a referendum on the EU, but not, say, fox hunting?”

To see the programme in full, visit http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05vlwxg.