Nigel Farage won’t make Brexit Party stand down in MORE seats

Nigel Farage was tonight warned by his political ally Arron Banks that he has ’48 hours to save Brexit‘ and that he must stand down more of his party’s election candidates. 

Mr Farage announced yesterday that he will not contest seats won by the Tories in 2017 but he has insisted he still intends to fight in Labour-held constituencies.

Mr Banks, a former Ukip donor, said the decision to stand aside in more than 300 seats would go down as the ‘most selfless act by a British party leader in political history’. 

But he insisted Mr Farage needed to go even further because the Brexit Party’s new strategy could still scupper Boris Johnson‘s hopes of winning a majority on December 12. 

‘There are 48 hours to save Brexit and save the country from a Corbyn government,’ Mr Banks said. 

‘Nigel has remade the Conservative Party in his own image, the Conservative Party is the Brexit Party.

‘The only way Brexit is going to get delivered is by a Boris majority.’ 

The deadline for candidates to formally submit paperwork is now just 48 hours away but Mr Farage has said he will not scale back the Brexit Party’s campaign any further. 

He said he had already ‘gifted’ the PM at least ‘two dozen’ constituencies by dramatically withdrawing candidates in 317 seats held by the Conservatives as he urged the Tories to return the favour. 

Mr Banks, the co-founder of the Leave.EU campaign group, said Mr Farage was a ‘geezer’ who had ‘won all the chips at the casino’ and he needed to ‘step away from the tables’. 

He wants the Brexit Party to focus on fewer than 40 ‘winnable’ seats in Labour areas, rather than splitting the Eurosceptic vote in marginals which Mr Johnson could win. 

A senior Tory source flatly rejected the idea they will give ground: ‘We are not standing down candidates. We are standing in all seats.’ 

It came as a new YouGov poll conducted after Mr Farage made his announcement yesterday gave the Tories a 14 point lead over Labour as Brexit Party support dwindled. 

Nigel Farage (pictured with reality TV star Tallia Storm at a publicity event in Belgravia, London, today to celebrate the 30th birthday of Boisdale Restaurants) has insisted he will not scale back the Brext Party election campaign any further

Nigel Farage (pictured with reality TV star Tallia Storm at a publicity event in Belgravia, London, today to celebrate the 30th birthday of Boisdale Restaurants) has insisted he will not scale back the Brext Party election campaign any further

Nigel Farage (pictured with reality TV star Tallia Storm at a publicity event in Belgravia, London, today to celebrate the 30th birthday of Boisdale Restaurants) has insisted he will not scale back the Brext Party election campaign any further 

These are 40 Labour-held seats where the Tories were in second place at the last election (index below) - and a Brexit Party candidate could potentially prevent them from turning blue on December 12. Many of them are also Leave voting seats in the north of England where the Conservatives are very unlikely to stand aside Nigel Farage in a potential further pact because the Tories are so close to victory

These are 40 Labour-held seats where the Tories were in second place at the last election (index below) - and a Brexit Party candidate could potentially prevent them from turning blue on December 12. Many of them are also Leave voting seats in the north of England where the Conservatives are very unlikely to stand aside Nigel Farage in a potential further pact because the Tories are so close to victory

These are 40 Labour-held seats where the Tories were in second place at the last election (index below) – and a Brexit Party candidate could potentially prevent them from turning blue on December 12. Many of them are also Leave voting seats in the north of England where the Conservatives are very unlikely to stand aside Nigel Farage in a potential further pact because the Tories are so close to victory

These are 40 Labour-held seats where the Tories were in second place at the last election - and a Brexit Party candidate could potentially prevent them from turning blue on December 12

These are 40 Labour-held seats where the Tories were in second place at the last election - and a Brexit Party candidate could potentially prevent them from turning blue on December 12

These are 40 Labour-held seats where the Tories were in second place at the last election – and a Brexit Party candidate could potentially prevent them from turning blue on December 12

Arron Banks, a former Ukip donor, said the decision to stand aside in more than 300 seats would go down as the 'most selfless act by a British party leader in political history'

Arron Banks, a former Ukip donor, said the decision to stand aside in more than 300 seats would go down as the 'most selfless act by a British party leader in political history'

Arron Banks, a former Ukip donor, said the decision to stand aside in more than 300 seats would go down as the ‘most selfless act by a British party leader in political history’

Boris Johnson’s poll lead over Labour narrows to six points

Boris Johnson’s general election poll lead over Jeremy Corbyn has narrowed to six points as support for the Liberal Democrats and Brexit Party went backwards.

A new Survation survey carried out when the election campaign formally got underway last week puts the Conservative Party on 35 per cent and Labour on 29 per cent.

The Tories are up one per cent in that poll while Labour jumped three per cent when compared with the previous survey conducted at the end of October.

But while Mr Johnson and Mr Corbyn continue to gain momentum the Lib Dems and Brexit Party appear to be heading in the opposite direction.

The fieldwork for the latest survey was conducted between November 6-8 – the first three days of the election campaign proper and before Nigel Farage announced he will give the Tories a clear run in 317 seats on December 12.

Numerous surveys conducted in recent weeks have given Mr Johnson a double digit lead over Mr Corbyn.

Brexit Party hopeful slams Nigel Farage for bowing to Tories 

A Brexit Party candidate has condemned Nigel Farage for pulling hundreds of candidates from the election battle. 

Robert Wheal was due to fight in the Arundel and South Downs constituency, but was stood down as the seat is currently held by the Conservatives. 

Speaking to LBC radio this morning, he accused Mr Farage of squandering a ‘golden opportunity’ to secure Brexit. 

‘My aim has always been to get out of Europe. Clean break,’ he said. 

He added: ‘I’ve always been very critical of the (Brussels) regime. 

‘It’s unelected, as you all know. It spends our money as it sees fit – wastes most of it. 

‘It was made very clear to us all at the first Brexit Party rally that we will put country before party and that, if Farage managed to arrange a deal with Boris Johnson that he would agree to drop his rotten Withdrawal Agreement and take on a No Deal, we would all stand down and support him. 

‘But what we have here is absolute codswallop.’ 

He continued: ‘Farage hasn’t even got a deal. This was a golden opportunity to get Brexit. The Tories aren’t offering Brexit. They’re offering ‘Brino’ – Brexit in name only.’ 

Mr Wheal said the current Withdrawal Agreement is a ‘classic Brussels trap’. 

He denied that splitting the Leave vote risked a second referendum, describing it as ‘just more Remainer Project Fear’. 

‘Half the Brexit Party supporters have worked their socks off for that party and he’s dropped them like a stone at 12 o’clock yesterday,’ he said. 

The dynamics of the election battle were thrown up in the air yesterday when Mr Farage announced that the Brexit Party will not contest 317 seats won by the Tories in 2017.

The decision came after Mr Johnson made a public pledge that the Brexit transition period will not be extended beyond the end of 2020 – and that he would negotiate a Canada-style free trade deal with the EU.  

The Brexit Party leader has insisted the ‘difficult decision’ to stand candidates down, amid fears it could lead to a hung parliament and a second referendum, had put the country ‘on the best possible course for future success’.

The PM welcomed the shift, saying it amounted to recognition that only the Conservatives could ‘get Brexit done’.

But senior Tories immediately urged Mr Farage to go further – pointing out that Mr Johnson’s chances of a outright majority hinge on winning Labour-held seats such as Peterborough and Bolsover.  

In a round of broadcast interviews this morning, Mr Farage said the calls on him to make more concessions were ‘almost comical’. 

He told BBC Breakfast: ‘I’ve just gifted the Conservative Party nearly two dozen seats and I did it because I believe in Leave. 

Labour in ‘cyber attack’ row: Jeremy Corbyn’s allies push Kremlin election meddling claims – but experts dismiss it as ‘standard’ digital vandalism 

Labour was today accused of exaggerating a ‘low level’ cyber attack for political gain – as Jeremy Corbyn branded the incident ‘suspicious’ and his allies used it to push claims of meddling by the Kremlin.

The Labour leader ramped up the rhetoric by saying he was ‘very worried’ that the party had been targeted during an election campaign.

But experts cast doubt on his claim that the attack was ‘serious’, suggesting it is fairly routine for large organisations to have to fend off such ‘Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) strikes – which attempt to flood computer servers with traffic.

 

‘Now if they believed in Leave what they would do is stand aside in some seats in Labour areas where the Conservative Party has not won for 100 years and will never win. 

‘I think what you’re seeing from this reaction is for the Conservative Party it is about them as a party, not about delivering Brexit.’ 

‘I’ve given more ground than anyone you have ever spoken to before,’ he told ITV’s Good Morning Britain. 

Yesterday’s shift has caused anger among some of Mr Farage’s own troops, 

Fellow MEP Alexandra Phillips complaining that she has been ‘disenfranchised by my own party’.

‘I will be one of millions of people who will not vote at all in the General Election,’ she tweeted today. 

‘That breaks my heart. I have voted in every election since I was 18 and been involved in politics for over a decade. And I have been disenfranchised by my own party.’ 

However, she later backed off the criticism saying that Mr Farage was a ‘master tactician’ and she trusted his decision.

Robert Wheal was due to fight in the Arundel and South Downs constituency for the Brexit Party, but was stood down as the seat is currently held by the Conservatives. 

Speaking to LBC radio this morning, he accused Mr Farage of squandering a ‘golden opportunity’ to secure Brexit. 

‘My aim has always been to get out of Europe. Clean break,’ he said. 

He added: ‘I’ve always been very critical of the (Brussels) regime. 

‘It’s unelected, as you all know. It spends our money as it sees fit – wastes most of it. 

‘It was made very clear to us all at the first Brexit Party rally that we will put country before party and that, if Farage managed to arrange a deal with Boris Johnson that he would agree to drop his rotten Withdrawal Agreement and take on a No Deal, we would all stand down and support him. 

‘But what we have here is absolute codswallop.’ 

He continued: ‘Farage hasn’t even got a deal. This was a golden opportunity to get Brexit. The Tories aren’t offering Brexit. They’re offering ‘Brino’ – Brexit in name only.’ 

Mr Wheal said the current Withdrawal Agreement is a ‘classic Brussels trap’. 

He denied that splitting the Leave vote risked a second referendum, describing it as ‘just more Remainer Project Fear’. 

‘Half the Brexit Party supporters have worked their socks off for that party and he’s dropped them like a stone at 12 o’clock yesterday,’ he said. 

Mr Johnson said he would not extend the planned transition period beyond the end of 2020 and that he would seek a ‘super-Canada-plus’ style free trade agreement with the EU.

Writing in The Telegraph, Mr Farage said: ‘Now, The Brexit Party will focus its energies on fighting every seat held by Labour, which has betrayed more than five million of its voters, and all the Remainer parties.

‘If we can win some of these seats, our presence in parliament will keep Boris Johnson honest and help to deliver Brexit.

‘I have no great love for the Tories, but I can see that by giving Johnson half a chance we will prevent a second referendum. To me, that is the single most important thing for Britain. No matter how it is achieved.’

But Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesman Tom Brake, responding to the reports that the pro-Brexit European Research Group held talks with the Brexit Party over Mr Farage’s decision to stand down candidates, said: ‘These talks show that Nigel Farage is pulling the strings behind the scenes. He is the puppet master in Boris Johnson’s Brexit horror show.

Mr Farage insisted Boris Johnson (pictured on the campaign trail yesterday) should be the one to make the next concession, as there were a number of Leave-leaning Labour strongholds where only the Brexit Party had a chance of winning

Mr Farage insisted Boris Johnson (pictured on the campaign trail yesterday) should be the one to make the next concession, as there were a number of Leave-leaning Labour strongholds where only the Brexit Party had a chance of winning

Mr Farage insisted Boris Johnson (pictured on the campaign trail yesterday) should be the one to make the next concession, as there were a number of Leave-leaning Labour strongholds where only the Brexit Party had a chance of winning

In a round of broadcast interviews this morning, Nigel Farage said the calls on him to make more concessions were 'almost comical'

In a round of broadcast interviews this morning, Nigel Farage said the calls on him to make more concessions were 'almost comical'

In a round of broadcast interviews this morning, Nigel Farage said the calls on him to make more concessions were ‘almost comical’

‘Every vote for the Conservatives is a vote for an extreme Brexit agenda backed by Nigel Farage.’

While campaigning in Hartlepool on Tuesday, Mr Farage claimed he was offered a peerage last Friday.

‘Ridiculous – the thought they can buy me, a high-paid job; but I’m not interested, I don’t want to know,’ he told the Daily Mirror.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said Mr Farage’s move could pave the way to a US trade deal, giving American pharmaceutical companies access to the NHS.

‘One week ago Donald Trump told Nigel Farage to make a pact with Boris Johnson. Today, Trump got his wish. This Trump alliance is Thatcherism on steroids,’ he said.

Asked if Mr Farage may pull out more candidates, Benyamin Habib of the Brexit Party told Newsnight: ‘This wasn’t choreographed. I think this was a decision that was come to after great consideration by Nigel.’

Where could the Tory party stand aside for the Brexit Party if Nigel backs down further? The Labour-voting heartlands where Farage might stand a BETTER chance than the Tories 

Nigel Farage today demanded Boris Johnson’s Tories stand aside in seats he believes are winnable for the Brexit Party after standing down almost half of his candidates.

He demanded a quid pro quo after he agreed not to run in 317 seats the Tories won in 2017 – and a number of potential target seats for Mr Farage exist that could be part of a Tory-Brexit Party pact.

Allies of Mr Farage have been urging him to focus on 40 ‘winnable’ seats in Labour areas, rather than splitting the Eurosceptic vote in marginals.

Farage insisted Boris Johnson should be the one to make the next concession, because there were a number of Leave-leaning Labour strongholds where only the Brexit Party had a chance of winning.

Mr Farage is likely to have his eye on Labour areas in the north of England with a sizeable majority of Leave voters in 2016.  

They could include seats like Normanton, Doncaster North and Barnsley Central, held currently by Labour big beasts Yvette Cooper, Ed Miliband and Dan Jarvis respectively.

These are areas where locals might not vote Tory but which Mr Farage hopes can be encouraged by Labour disunity over Brexit to come across to his outfit in large numbers.

The risk for Mr Johnson, even if he considered standing down candidates – which Downing Street says will not happen  – if that the Brexit Party fails to win and hands the seats back to Labour.

Because it is a start-up just months old there is a shortage of reliable data on how it might perform in different seats.  

It would be risky to use figures for Ukip in 2017 as it had a different leader then, Paul Nuttall, and a host of different issues connected with it. 

Additionally most of the target seats have healthy – or what should be healthy – Labour majorities to overcome in the first place. 

The tightest on our list, Dennis Skinner’s Bolsover seat in Derbyshire, has a Labour majority of 5,288.  Based on 2017 figures, the Tories not running might still not give the Brexit Party victory.      

Brexit Party cancels London rally amid grassroots fury at Farage

The Brexit Party has cancelled a central London rally amid anger at the decision to stand down election candidates.

Leader Nigel Farage told supporters in Hartlepool on Monday he was putting ‘country before party’ and would be pulling Brexit Party candidates out of the 317 seats won by the Conservatives at the 2017 general election.

The anti-EU party has since opted to cancel its Westminster rally on Tuesday morning – despite having promoted it as recently as Saturday.

The party had been due to hold a meeting at Church House in Westminster on Tuesday but a spokesman confirmed it was ‘not happening’.

He said the party had ‘already said what we needed to say’ during Mr Farage’s speech in Hartlepool.

The decision to offer a ‘unilateral’ Leave alliance to Boris Johnson, a move that is likely to aid the Tories in Leave-voting South West seats against the pro-Europe Liberal Democrats, has been met with dismay by some candidates.

Brexit Party MEP Alexandra Phillips, who was due to stand as a candidate in the Tory seat of Southampton Itchen before Mr Farage’s announcement, has declared she will ‘not vote at all’ at the election.

‘I have been disenfranchised by my own party,’ the South East MEP tweeted.

Brexit Party chairman Richard Tice this morning defended the U-turn over helping Boris Johnson.

‘Let’s be absolutely clear: the Brexit Party is still fighting to win seats at this General Election’, he said writing in the Daily Express.

‘A group of Brexit Party MPs being elected will allow us to hold the government to account moving forward so that they stick to their promises and that the necessary change is delivered.

‘The constituency I’m standing in, Hartlepool, is a key example of where the Brexit Party will be targeting.

‘Seven out of 10 people here voted Leave yet a London-dominated Labour Party has chosen to completely ignore that vote.

‘Years and years of Labour rule in such areas has led simply to decline and stagnation. Hartlepool has not seen the investment nor the new jobs this area deserves and so badly needs.’

A Brexit Party candidate branded Mr Farage’s tactical decision not to contest Tory-held seats to avoid splitting the Leave vote as a ‘disgrace to politics’.

Robert Wheal was due to fight in the Arundel and South Downs constituency but was stood down as the seat is currently held by the Conservatives.

In a series of angry tweets in the wake of Mr Farage’s announcement on Monday, Mr Wheal said the Brexit Party leader was putting himself ahead of the country.

‘It’s putting Nigel before the country. He will go down in infamy, letting down so many good people with whom he sought their trust. He is finished as a politician.’

He added: ‘All that Farage has exposed is his duplicity to so many supporters who had put their faith in him.’

Mr Wheal said Leave supporters could ‘kiss goodbye’ to Brexit following the decision and vowed to spoil his ballot paper.

Speaking to LBC radio on Tuesday morning, he said: ‘My aim has always been to get out of Europe. Clean break.’

He added: ‘I’ve always been very critical of the (Brussels) regime.

‘It’s unelected, as you all know. It spends our money as it sees fit – wastes most of it.

‘It was made very clear to us all at the first Brexit Party rally that we will put country before party and that, if Farage managed to arrange a deal with Boris Johnson that he would agree to drop his rotten Withdrawal Agreement and take on a no-deal, we would all stand down and support him.

‘But what we have here is absolute codswallop.’

 

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