Brexit Party will not contest Conservative-held seats
Brexit Party candidates will not stand in 317 Conservative-held seats in December’s general election, according to party leader, Nigel Farage.
Farage added that its candidates will stand against all opposition parties and focus its efforts on winning seats currently held by Labour.
Although Conservative chairman, James Cleverly, had expressed concern that the Brexit Party’s presence could frustrate their campaign in Labour-held constituencies, Farage himself is eager to avoid weakening the Conservative vote in order to reduce the chances of a second EU referendum after the general election.
Speaking to Brexit Party supporters in Hartlepool, Farage said that prime minister Boris Johnson had recently shown a “shift of position” in terms of his Brexit stance.
Farage pointed out Johnson’s desire to not extend the planned transition period under the new Withdrawal Agreement beyond 2020, as well as the Conservative leader’s endeavour to diverge from EU regulations to make way for meaningful trade deals with other nations.
The prime minister's response to the announcement was positive, as he praised Farage for his “recognition” that the “only one way to get Brexit done” is to “vote for the Conservatives”.
Farage also revealed that he had made a "genuine" attempt to form a “Leave alliance” with the Conservatives which ultimately failed to materialise after Johnson ruled out entering a formal election pact with any other party.
The prime minister said that any deals between the Conservatives and other parties would “risk putting Jeremy Corbyn into Number Ten”.
However, during his speech in Hartlepool, Farage said: “In a sense we now have a Leave alliance, it's just that we've done it unilaterally.”