Belfast Telegraph

Nigel Farage says reported Labour strategy change shows party is ‘in trouble’

Labour insiders have reportedly expressed concerns that Leave voters could switch from Labour to Conservatives.

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage playing golf (Owen Humphreys/PA)
Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage playing golf (Owen Humphreys/PA)

By Henry Clare, PA

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage has said suggestions Labour could change its campaigning strategy are “almost an acceptance that they have lost the election”.

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He was speaking after the BBC reported that Labour insiders had said that the party has so far overestimated the threat from the Liberal Democrats and underestimated the chances of Leave voters switching from Labour to the Conservatives.

The new plan is designed to appeal to those who voted for Brexit, and to try to convince them that Labour is not attempting to stop Brexit by offering another referendum, the BBC said.

But Mr Farage told supporters in Hull that the rumoured move suggests that Jeremy Corbyn’s party is “in trouble”.

Speaking at a golf driving range, he said: “I think the truth of it is, they realise they are now fighting a defensive battle, they know they can’t win the election.

“This is now a defensive strategy to try to hold the seats that they have held for decades, it’s almost an acceptance that they have lost the election.”

They're in trouble. That's what this (Labour) change of direction says Nigel Farage

Mr Farage said he feels that a Tory majority in next month’s election is inevitable, and that the role of the Brexit Party will be to hold Boris Johnson to account.

Speaking about Labour’s campaign thus far, he said: “Their manifesto launch was not the success that it was back in 2017, since then they have come out pledging tens of billions.

“Everything is going to be free – free iPhones and who knows what’s next.

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Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage (Owen Humphreys/PA)

“They’re fighting a defensive strategy and they want to try in Leave seats to get the argument off Brexit with ranting conspiracy theories about the National Health Service and what Donald Trump might do, despite what the Donald (Trump) said on this.

“They’re in trouble. That’s what this change of direction says.”

Following his speech, Mr Farage visited Trinity Market and The Three John Scotts pub alongside Michelle Dewberry, the party’s candidate for Hull West and Hessle and the winner of series two of The Apprentice.

The trip came a day after a YouGov poll published in The Times suggested that if the election were to be held on Thursday, the Conservative Party would win 359 seats.

It estimated that Mr Farage’s party would pick up a 3% share of the vote and not win a seat.

Outlining his scepticism towards the estimate, the Brexit Party leader said: “Over 25 years I have campaigned in elections of all kinds. I have led two political parties to winning national elections in the European elections. I’ve led parties to huge disappointments in other elections.

“For me, ever since the end of the 1990s, this has been a matter of principle, and it is still a matter of principle.

“What I’ve got to do in the next two weeks is to persuade people who are thinking of voting Conservative in Labour-Leave seats where the Conservatives have never won, that if they vote Conservative they are splitting the Leave vote and wasting their vote.

“If I can do that, we’ll get some people in.”

PA

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