The leader of the UK Independence party (UKIP) has suggested they may not field candidates against “good Brexiteers” from other parties in the general election.
Paul Nuttall said he did not want to see pro-Brexit MPs lose their seats in the parliament, only to be replaced with anti-Brexit voices.
“What I don’t want to see happen is good Brexiteers… people who’ve campaigned for years for Brexit, I don’t want to see them lose their seats and get a Remainer in their place”, he told the BBC’s Andrew Marr show.
Mr. Nuttall explained that he would not force local branches to stand down, but instead would have “discussions” about individual constituencies.
“This will not be an order coming down from the top of the party, I will speak to branches over the coming weeks and we will make discussions,” he said.
Adding: “What I won’t do is make the mistake we made in 2010, where the party leader told branches to stand down.”
Mr. Nuttall said UKIP would consider standing down for pro-Brexit MPs from any party, naming Kate Hoey as a possible beneficiary from Labour and David Nuttall from the Conservatives.
He said the case of Tory Craig Mackinlay, who defeated former UKIP leader Nigel Farage in Thanet South, was a “bit different” due to allegations of electoral fraud by the Conservative party.
The move was welcomed by former UKIP donor and Leave.EU founder Arron Banks, who said Mr. Nuttall was putting “country first, party second.”
“Mrs. May has parked her tanks on the UKIP lawn, copying UKIP policies, and rightly judging that the public want to see Brexit delivered in full,” he said in a statement.
He continued: “During her term as Home Secretary she failed to control immigration, both EU and non-EU. Changing the face of communities across our country.
“However, the Conservative party is the only viable option for the UK electorate at the moment. The only way to create stable government is to return a Conservative government.
“Under the circumstances, UKIP should not stand candidates against any MP who voted for Brexit from any other party.”