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Nigel Farage: No more Brexit Party candidates will stand down

He said if the Tories ‘showed some reciprocity’ more Brexit Party supporters would be likely to support them in the 317 ‘Leave alliance’ seats.

Nigel Farage holding a fish with local Brexit Party candidate Christopher Barker in Grimsby (Danny Lawson/PA)
Nigel Farage holding a fish with local Brexit Party candidate Christopher Barker in Grimsby (Danny Lawson/PA)

By Henry Clare and Sophie Morris, PA Reporters

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage has confirmed that he will not stand down any more candidates to help the Tories win a majority in the General Election.

Mr Farage added that, if the Conservatives “showed some reciprocity”, more Brexit Party supporters would be likely to support the Tories in the 317 seats in which Brexit Party candidates will not be sitting.

He also accused Boris Johnson’s party of only caring about getting a Conservative majority in Parliament, and not about securing a pro-Leave majority.

The Brexit Party leader said he “very much doubts” he will vote in the upcoming election.

Mr Farage told voters in Hull: “We are going to fight Labour in every seat in this country, be in no doubt.”

And shortly after the nominations deadline of 4pm passed, Mr Farage claimed on Twitter: “Even Boris Johnson’s Chief Strategic Adviser Sir Edward Lister is calling our candidates and offering them jobs if they withdraw.

“The system is corrupt and broken. #ChangePoliticsForGood”.

Earlier, Mr Farage said he thought that the Tories would be grateful after he withdrew candidates in the 317 seats the  Conservatives won in the last election, but noted that the Prime Minister’s party had shown “a refusal on their part to give an inch” since the announcement.

Asked whether he would consider a last-minute withdrawal of candidates, Mr Farage said: “No, we’re not, although what we’re seeing is the most incredible, aggressive intimidation of our candidates.

“Here we are, in a free and fair democracy. Putting ourselves up for public office is a right, and yet there are people who are effectively being denied that right because they are being intimidated, and told they mustn’t stand because if they do the next four weeks will be hell. It’s disgraceful.”

I'm very worried about the Leave vote being split, very, very worried about these constituencies that have been Labour for decades, where the Conservatives have never won, can never win, and yet they are still putting up a candidate against our candidates who are the challengers to Labour in those seats Nigel Farage

Acknowledging that some of his party’s candidates had received abuse from people wanting them to stand down, Mr Farage told an audience: “I think that is a complete and utter disgrace, I really do.”

He added that he fears Mr Johnson will produce a deal that is “Brexit in name only” if Brexit Party MPs do not gain seats in Parliament and are unable to hold him to account.

Asked if he feared splitting the Leave vote, Mr Farage said: “I’m very worried about the Leave vote being split, very, very worried about these constituencies that have been Labour for decades, where the Conservatives have never won, can never win, and yet they are still putting up a candidate against our candidates who are the challengers to Labour in those seats.

“It tells me all I need to know about the Conservative Party. All they care about is the party, not getting a Leave majority in Westminster.”

Mr Farage also admitted that he doubts that he will vote in the upcoming election.

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Mr Farage said he worried about the Leave vote being split (Danny Lawson/PA)

The Brexit Party leader this week stood down candidates in all 317 constituencies won by the Tories in 2017, including his own in Kent.

“I doubt I’ll vote. I very much doubt I’ll vote,” he said.

On the prospect of voting for the Tories, he said: “It’s this very narrow party interest, that’s all they care about.”

When asked whether he had ever not voted before, he said: “I did spoil a paper in 1992. I couldn’t vote for John Major, I couldn’t do it.

“My last Conservative vote was 1987.”

Mr Farage told the PA news agency that the desire of his supporters to vote for the Brexit Party and not the Conservatives in the 317 seats in the UK where Mr Farage has announced candidates will not stand is “a real source of torture”.

He said: “I know they wanted to vote for the Brexit Party, and the interesting thing is, because of the way the Conservatives have behaved, a lot of them are telling me they’re just going to turn up at the ballot box and write Brexit Party on the piece of paper.”

Mr Farage said the Tories could have “used my gesture, showed some reciprocity and they would have got some goodwill from the Brexit Party supporters in those seats, and they haven’t done that”.

PA

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