Farage in Talks to Stand Down Candidates in Tory Brexiteer Seats: Report

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 04: Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage speaks ahead of Brexit Party members being introduced on November 4, 2019 in London, England. The Brexit party plans to contest 600 seats in Britain's December 12 general election, although Nigel Farage himself will not be standing for election. (Photo …
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Nigel Farage is reportedly extending an olive branch to individual Conservatives by potentially standing down Brexit Party candidates in Tory Brexiteer seats, in order to ensure a Brexit government.

On a campaign visit to Labour seats in the Midlands, Mr Farage had told The Telegraph that he was “open” to such a move. But he suggested it was conditional on the Conservative candidates pledging not to back Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s withdrawal treaty.

The Brexit Party leader has warned that Mr Johnson’s EU-approved deal “is not Brexit. It is a sell-out.” While the Withdrawal Agreement Bill had passed its first hurdle in the House of Commons, the prime minister would have to begin the process over again and bring the bill back to a new cohort of MPs after the December 12th election.

Asked if he would strike a deal with a Conservative MP who said they would not vote for the bill, Mr Farage told the right-wing newspaper: “I would look forward to speaking to them.”

“My track record… is that I have done deals with Labour and Conservatives in the past and I am open for the right people to do the same again.

“I am not going to put the interests of the party above the interests of the cause,” he added.

A friend of the Brexit Party leader confirmed that such local-level talks were taking place, telling The Telegraph: “We are having those conversations.”

The report comes after Prime Minister Johnson and some of his MPs rejected recent peace offerings for a Leave Alliance.

Speaking at a rally in London on Monday night, Mr Farage said that while he personally liked Jacob Rees-Mogg, he condemned the Tory Brexiteer for saying that the Brexit Party should stand aside for the Conservatives, calling it “arrogant and conceited”.

Mr Farage had said later that evening that he had “given up” trying to make a pact with the upper echelons of the Conservative Party.

“They want to take us to a place that is not recognisable as Brexit… I have tried like crazy week after week to put together a Leave alliance that will win a huge majority and all I get is abuse back.

“So, in the end, you begin to think what’s the point?”

Speaking in Workington at a press launch ahead of a rally tonight, Mr Farage warned that the deal is not very different to former Prime Minister Theresa May’s “Worst Deal in History”. He said that voters should take the opportunity that the General Election affords to look at the treaty and see that it does not deliver on the 2016 referendum result.

Saying that while Mr Johnson had “inherited a very difficult position” after Mrs May resigned, he had “picked up” that deal and tried to renegotiate it while the “clock was ticking, running down to the 31st of October”.

“Boris’s ‘Great New Deal’ is 95 per cent the same as Mrs May’s ‘Bad Old Treaty’. The reason that parliament met for the first time in 37 years on that Saturday is he tried to bounce it through parliament within 24 hours before the ink was dry on the document, before anyone had understood what was actually in it.”

“The General Election has given us time to step back a little bit and take some time to understand what’s happening. I’m sorry to say that what he is presenting just is not Brexit,” Mr Farage added.

A recent YouGov poll showed a four per cent increase in support for the Brexit Party, putting Farage’s party in fourth place at 11 per cent, while the Conservatives, Labour, and Liberal Democrats — in first, second, and third position respectively — had either lost support or remained at nil change.

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