Nigel Farage has hit out at the three MEPs who quit his Brexit Party today, suggesting they were motivated by personal links to the Conservative Party.

Annunziata Rees-Mogg, Lance Forman and Lucy Harris announced they had resigned the whip to back Boris Johnson’s push to “get Brexit done”.

Ms Rees-Mogg said the Brexit Party was splitting the vote of Leave-supporters, and therefore putting Brexit itself at risk. 

But Mr Farage seemed to reject her logic, pointing instead to the candidates’ personal ties to the Tories when probed on the resignations.

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage and former candidate Annunziata Rees-Mogg (PA Archive/PA Images)

“One of them (Ms Rees-Mogg) is the sister of a cabinet minister. Another one has a boyfriend working for that cabinet minister and another one is a personal friend of Boris Johnson’s,” he told the BBC’s Andrew Neil. 

When challenged on whether he was smearing the MEPs, Mr Farage said he was simply presenting the facts.

“They joined the Brexit Party. They joined the coalition that I put together. They clearly were disaffected with Mrs May as leader,” he said. “We are not the Conservative Party.”

He went on: “I tell you something – Boris Johnson’s deal unamended is unacceptable. I certainly stand by that.”

The full interview with Mr Neil is due to be aired tonight.

Ms Rees-Mogg and her fellow ex-Brexit Party MEPs have called for Mr Farage to withdraw his candidates in the December 12 Poll.

The former Tory parliamentary candidate and sister of Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg, said it was “tragic” that the Brexit Party “are now the very party risking Brexit”.

“It is clear to me that the Brexit Party is splitting the vote of Leavers in marginal and not-so-marginal constituencies,” she told a press conference.

“The Brexit Party are permitting votes to go away from the Conservatives, providing us with a Remain coalition that will do anything not to honour the Brexit referendum.”

Annunziata Rees-Mogg is among the MEPs to quit the Brexit Party today (REUTERS)

Ms Rees-Mogg said it had “not been an easy decision for any of us” to quit the Brexit Party, but “we all feel it’s one we had no choice but to make”.

She described Mr Johnson’s Brexit deal as “the only Leave option we have”, with the other options being “more damaging delays, a second Remain-Remain referendum or straight revoke”.

The Brexit Party, formed earlier this year, won 29 seats in July’s European Parliament elections.

In November Mr Farage announced it would not contest the 317 Westminster seats the Conservatives won in 2017, in order to help Leave-supporting candidates win.


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