Financier and Leave campaigner Jeremy Hosking has pledged to support pro-Brexit candidates in more than 140 seats held by Remain MPs in an effort to stop the Government “backsliding on Brexit” after the general election.
Mr. Hosking told The Observer he wanted to help give Prime Minister Theresa May “an army” of pro-Brexit MPs that was “fully equipped and as big as possible”.
Conservative candidates in 138 constituencies, where the majority of voters backed Brexit but which are represented by an opposition Remain MP, will be eligible to apply for funding of up to £5,000 per candidate.
Hosking hopes that by backing new Tory MPs in traditionally Labour-held seats in the Midlands and north of England, the nation could safeguard a “full, national Brexit”, rather than a “City of London Brexit”.
He said that he was prepared to spend heavily in order to secure “the sovereign future of this independent-minded democracy”, hoping traditional Labour voters will vote tactically.
However, several prominent Leave campaigners are sceptical a Conservative Government post-election led by Prime Minister Theresa May – who campaigned for Remain during the referendum – will deliver a real Brexit, and will instead strike a deal with Brussels which retains Britain in European Union insititutions such as the Single Market.
Former UKIP leader warned Breitbart News Daily listeners that whilst May is “selling herself as the ‘Great Brexit PM’, the Conservative leader could use the election as an “opportunity to soften the impact of Brexit”.
Outlining how a “soft Brexit”, particularly one that keeps Britain in the Single Market, would look, Farage said:
“We [would] still have to obey all the regulations that are made and passed in Brussels and Strasbourg, there’s still a degree to which European courts have jurisdiction over our citizens, we’re probably still paying a contribution, or a membership fee of some kind, and freedom of movement would remain with a transition period of three or five years.
“We’d have voted to leave, but we’d be half out half in,” he summarised.
In April, current UKIP leader Paul Nuttall backed tactical voting, saying UKIP might not field candidates against “good Brexiteers” from other parties in the general election.
Several pro-Remainers have launched aggressive strategic voting campaigns to attack pro-Brexit MPs.
Former Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown’s crowdfunding campaign More United has pledged to support candidates opposed to Brexit.
Gina Miller’s Best for Britain, which has already raised questions over a possible loophole for foreign funding in the general election, seeks to unseat pro-Brexit MPs, as does Open Britain which is supported by Tony Blair.
The George Soros-backed Hope Not Hate is dedicating resources to campaign against UKIP.