Belfast Telegraph

General Election 2019

Nigel Farage thought he could help EU departure by not standing in General Election

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage (right) is interviewed on the BBC political programme The Andrew Marr Show yesterday
Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage (right) is interviewed on the BBC political programme The Andrew Marr Show yesterday

By Ashley Cowburn

Nigel Farage has revealed he thought "very hard" before deciding not to stand in December's election as a candidate for the Brexit Party.

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Mr Farage had previously issued an ultimatum to Boris Johnson, urging him to drop his deal or face Brexit Party candidates in every seat across Britain at next month's general election, but refused to be drawn on his own future.

But appearing on BBC's Andrew Marr Show yesterday, Mr Farage said: "I've thought very hard about this, how do I serve the cause of Brexit best, because that's what I'm doing this for. Not for a career, I don't want to be in politics for the rest of my life.

"Do I find a seat to try and get myself into Parliament or do I serve the cause better traversing the length and breadth of the United Kingdom supporting 600 candidates, and I've decided the latter course is the right one.

"It's very difficult to be in a constituency every day and at the same time be out across the UK."

Mr Farage, a former leader of Ukip, has previously ran seven times for Parliament - the latest being in 2015 when he failed to oust the Conservatives' Craig Mackinlay.

In an interview with The Sunday Times, the Brexit Party leader also claimed he had been twice offered a peerage, one of a number of "baubles" put forward by the Conservative Party to stop his party fielding candidates.

In relation to peerages, he said: "This happened twice, but we are going back a couple of months. They thought the deal was that if I accepted that, we would only fight a few seats.

"That came from two very close sources - one from an adviser and one a minister, not a member of the cabinet, suggesting this was the right thing to do. I said I was not interested."

Mr Farage also said he hoped there would be a "Leave alliance" at the election, adding: "It seems obvious that no one party can own Brexit voters, there are Tory voters, there are Brexit Party voters and a lot of Labour Brexit voters.

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