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Tories to snub Nigel Farage’s offer of election pact – Johnson

Mr Johnson said his party would stand in every seat if an election were called.

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage had offered an electoral pact (Stefan Rousseau/PA)
Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage had offered an electoral pact (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

By Sam Blewett, PA Political Correspondent, in New York

Boris Johnson has rubbished the idea of an election pact with Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party and pledged to field Conservative candidates in every seat in the country.

Mr Farage has been calling on the Prime Minister to form a Brexit alliance in order to beat a threat from Remain voters in the polls.

But, speaking to reporters on his flight to New York for the United Nations General Assembly, Mr Johnson ruled out working with the Brexit Party if opposition MPs grant him an early election.

“We will be contesting the next election when the Labour Party – the opposition – finally summon up the nerve to have an election,” the Tory said.

“We will be contesting the next election as the Conservative party and not in an alliance, or a pact or a coupon, a receipt.”

Pressed on whether the Conservatives would field candidates in every seat, the PM replied: “Of course.”

Mr Farage believes a pact could ward off the threat from a “Remain alliance” of opposition parties who oppose Brexit and could depose the Tories.

His party has offered to not field candidates to oppose hardline Brexit Tories who voted against Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement all three times and who support no-deal.

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Opinion polls in 2019 (PA Graphics)

He wants the Conservatives not to run in around 90 Leave-voting constituencies that have never backed the Tories and supported the Brexit Party in the European Parliament elections.

But the suggestion has previously been robustly dismissed by a senior Conservative source, who criticised Mr Farage and his Leave EU campaign colleague Arron Banks.

“Neither Nigel Farage or Arron Banks are fit and proper persons, and they should never be allowed anywhere near government,” the source said.

Mr Farage campaigned with Mr Banks’ Leave EU group while the PM and his chief adviser Dominic Cummings were key to the official Vote Leave campaign.

PA

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