Nigel Farage under pressure as 20 Brexit Party election candidates ‘quit’ before election

Nigel Farage come out fighting today, taking a swing at Boris Johnson as he hit the campaign trail in a boxing ring.

The Brexit Party leader accused the Prime Minister of chasing a ‘Remainer’s Brexit’ – a jab at the Brexit deal he agreed with Brussels.

Mr Farage was in Bolsover at the start of a tour of Labour-voting Leave seats he believes his party can take from Jeremy Corbyn’s party.

The Derbyshire seat of veteran firebrand Dennis Skinner voted 70 per cent to Leave in 2016. 

Addressing the crowd at Bolsover Boxing Club Mr Farage said: ‘Without the Brexit Party we will not get a genuine Brexit, and I am going to make sure this cause is best prepared for  elections across the country.’

Mr Farage was in Bolsover at the start of a tour of Labour-voting Leave seats he believes his party can take from Jeremy Corbyn's party

Mr Farage was in Bolsover at the start of a tour of Labour-voting Leave seats he believes his party can take from Jeremy Corbyn's party

Mr Farage was in Bolsover at the start of a tour of Labour-voting Leave seats he believes his party can take from Jeremy Corbyn’s party

Jeremy Corbyn hit out at Mr Farage's plan to target Labour Leavers this morning, saying: 'Nigel Farage is a one trick pony from a very wealthy organisation'

Jeremy Corbyn hit out at Mr Farage's plan to target Labour Leavers this morning, saying: 'Nigel Farage is a one trick pony from a very wealthy organisation'

Jeremy Corbyn hit out at Mr Farage’s plan to target Labour Leavers this morning, saying: ‘Nigel Farage is a one trick pony from a very wealthy organisation’

The Derbyshire seat of veteran firebrand Dennis Skinner voted 70 per cent to Leave in 2016.

The Derbyshire seat of veteran firebrand Dennis Skinner voted 70 per cent to Leave in 2016.

The Derbyshire seat of veteran firebrand Dennis Skinner voted 70 per cent to Leave in 2016.

Mr Corbyn hit out at Mr Farage’s plan to target Labour Leavers this morning. Making a speech of his own in Harlow, Essex, he said: ‘Nigel Farage is a one trick pony from a very wealthy organisation. Nigel Farage is going to various parts of the country saying all kinds of things.

‘He is not offering to defend the NHS in those places – indeed he has form in supporting privatisation of our NHS.

‘He is not offering housing, social justice, reducing inequality in this country or meeting the needs of people who use food banks just to survive because of poverty in Britain.

‘He doesn’t actually offer anything to any of those communities and so our message, our manifesto, our policy is about invest in in all parts of this country.’

Mr Farage suffered a setback as he prepared to kick off the Brexit Party election campaign today as it emerged 20 candidates have already quit.

The outspoken eurosceptic’s opposition to Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal is one of the factors that has been them refuse to stand despite being picked in the last few months.

It came as on of the Brexit Party’s financial backers, Jeffrey Hobby, abandoned it to support the Tories at the election, warning that Mr Farage risked hindering the Brexit cause.  

He unveiled 600 candidates yesterday but has already seen them leech away.

‘There is a lot of grief out there. It has been going on all summer,’ a party source told the Daily Telegraph.

‘It is not good, but it is life.’

Stephen Peddie, who was due to stand in Tonbridge and Malling in Kent, has announced he was withdrawing

Stephen Peddie, who was due to stand in Tonbridge and Malling in Kent, has announced he was withdrawing

Paul Brothwood, Farage's candidate for Dudley South in the West Midlands, quit

Paul Brothwood, Farage's candidate for Dudley South in the West Midlands, quit

Stephen Peddie (left), who was due to stand in Tonbridge and Malling in Kent, and Paul Brothwood (right), have withdrawn

Nigel Farage's election campaign backfired last night as he was abandoned by candidates and one of his financial backers

Nigel Farage's election campaign backfired last night as he was abandoned by candidates and one of his financial backers

Nigel Farage’s election campaign backfired last night as he was abandoned by candidates and one of his financial backers

Those standing down include Paul Brothwood, his candidate for Dudley South in the West Midlands. He stepped down yesterday and endorsed local Tory MP Mike Wood. 

Mr Brothwood said he was ‘confident that Boris Johnson is the best person to stand up for Britain’.

Stephen Peddie, who was due to stand in Tonbridge and Malling in Kent, also announced he was withdrawing, accusing Mr Farage of pursuing a ‘fantastical and dangerous strategy’ and warning that the Brexit Party was ‘evolving from a national asset to a national threat’.

He added: ‘We have a Brexit only because of Farage – that doesn’t make it his to destroy along with our country.

‘I’ve quit in exasperation. I suspect I’m far from alone.’

Dan Day-Robinson, who was standing in Devizes, Wiltshire, said he was quitting because his partner was pregnant.

A fourth candidate, Jill Hughes, is reported to have been dropped as candidate for Batley and Spen in Yorkshire by the party over bizarre historical social media posts in which she claimed to have come from the star Sirius.  

Property developer Mr Hobby, who donated £10,000 to Mr Farage’s party ahead of the European Parliament elections in May, said he believed Mr Johnson was doing a ‘fantastic job’. 

He added: ‘It is a shame if Nigel Farage wants to take him on across the country, I don’t think that is helpful for the Brexit Party, the Tory Party or the cause.

‘For the Brexit Party to field candidates across all seats seems a waste of resources and not the wisest move.’

Mr Farage wants Mr Johnson to abandon his Brexit deal, but Mr Hobby said that while it was not ‘ideal’, backing it was ‘probably the most pragmatic position’, adding: ‘There is a real need to move forward, get behind the deal and accept that you can pick holes in any deal but it probably does the job it needs to.’

Mr Rees-Mogg was among senior Tories who criticised Mr Farage's plan to run more than 600 candidates

Mr Rees-Mogg was among senior Tories who criticised Mr Farage's plan to run more than 600 candidates

Mr Rees-Mogg was among senior Tories who criticised Mr Farage’s plan to run more than 600 candidates

Mr Farage accused Tory Brexiteers of being ‘good little boys’ yesterday by falling into line behind Mr Johnson.

He said he had abandoned any idea of an electoral pact with Mr Johnson, adding: ‘What is the point? Jacob said we should stand aside and just allow him to betray us nice and slowly. It is ludicrous. Their attitude to the Brexit Party is arrogant and conceited.’

Mr Rees-Mogg was among senior Tories who criticised Mr Farage’s plan to run more than 600 candidates. The Commons Leader insisted Mr Johnson’s deal represented a ‘complete Brexit’, and called on Mr Farage to recognise the campaign to leave the EU had been a success.

Speaking of Mr Farage, he told LBC: ‘It would be a great shame if he carries on fighting after he has already won to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.’

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