Boris Johnson has dismissed the notion of an election alliance with Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party, and has said he will field Tory candidates in every constituency.
Farage has been wooing the prime minister with the offer of a general election Brexit pact in order to see off the threat of an alliance between Remain-supporting parties.
Opposition parties have so far refused to grant an early election over mistrust that, once agreed in parliament, Johnson could change the date until after the UK’s currently tabled date to leave the EU.
He told reporters: “We will be contesting the next election when the Labour Party – the opposition – finally summon up the nerve to have an election.
“We will be contesting the next election as the Conservative party and not in an alliance, or a pact or a coupon, a receipt.”
Pressed on whether the Conservatives would field candidates in every seat, he replied: “Of course.”
Farage believes a pact could ward off the threat from a “Remain alliance” of opposition parties who oppose Brexit and could depose the Tories.
Farage’s offer has been made on numerous platforms including his own LBC radio show and in a full-page newspaper wraparound advert on the Daily Express.
His party has offered to not field candidates to oppose hardline Brexit Tories who voted against Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement all three times and who support leaving without a deal.
He wants the Conservatives not to run in around 90 Leave-voting constituencies that have never backed the Tories and which supported the Brexit Party in the European parliament elections.
But a senior Tory source had already dismissed the idea with harsh words for Farage and his Leave.EU campaigning colleague Arron Banks.
“Neither Nigel Farage or Arron Banks are fit and proper persons, and they should never be allowed anywhere near government,” the source said.