General election news: Nigel Farage calls on Boris Johnson to stand down Tory candidates in Labour-held seats

Nigel Farage has called on Boris Johnson to stand down Tory candidates in Labour-held seats to try to get more pro-Brexit MPs elected.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast on Tuesday, the Brexit Party leader said he “gifted the Conservative Party nearly two dozen seats” because he “believes in Leave”.

He added: “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.”

Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Mr Farage was reacting to calls for the Brexit Party to stand down its candidates in Tory/Labour marginals, after his announcement on Monday that it would not stand in seats won by the Conservatives at the 2017 general election.

He also told BBC that Brexit Party MPs need to be elected to hold the Prime Minister to account on Brexit.

He added: “What we now need to do is to get Brexit Party MPs in Parliament to hold him (Boris Johnson) to account.

“Because too often over the years, recent years, the Conservatives have made promises and then back-tracked on them. So that’s our plan, we need to win some of those Labour seats.”

Asked if he has had any communication with US President Donald Trump about the so-called Leave Alliance, Mr Farage said: “How many times do I have to tell you, I haven’t spoken to him since he was on LBC with me a few weeks ago and he has no influence over my decision at all.

“My decision is made, number one, to stop a second referendum, to prevent Liberal Democrats winning seats in the South and the South West and number two because Boris Johnson has indicated we’re now going for a free-trade deal, not political linkage.”

The Brexit Party leader backed down from Tory-held seats on Monday after Mr Johnson flatly refused to buckle to pressure for an election pact with the controversial pro-Leave campaigner.

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage (PA)

An embarrassed-looking Mr Farage announced he was backing down at a rally in Hartlepool, a key target seat, where he said he had come to the reluctant conclusion that he risked undermining Brexit if he kept going.

“I will tell you now exactly what we are going to do,” he told supporters. “The Brexit Party will not contest the 317 seats the Conservatives won at the last election.

“But what we will do is concentrate our total effort into all the seats that are held by the Labour Party, who have completely broken their manifesto pledge in 2017 to respect the result of the referendum.

“And we will also take on the rest of the Remainer parties. We will stand up and we will fight them all.”


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