Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage has said he is ‘very, very worried’ about splitting the Leave vote but has refused to stand down any more candidates to help the Tories win a majority in the general election.
Speaking on the last day of nominations, he denied there would be any last-minute withdrawal of candidates following his decision earlier in the week to stand down 317 Brexit Party hopefuls in Tory-favoured seats.
Farage added that if the Conservatives “showed some reciprocity” on this, more of his party’s supporters would support the Tories in those seats.
He accused Boris Johnson’s party of only caring about getting a Conservative majority in parliament, and not about securing a pro-Leave majority.
He said he thought that the Tories would be grateful after he withdrew candidates, but said instead the party had shown “a refusal on their part to give an inch”.
Asked whether he would consider a last-minute withdrawal of candidates, Farage said his candidates were receiving “incredible, aggressive intimidation” who are being told “the next four weeks will be hell”.
He added that he feared a Johnson government would produce what he dubbed “Brexit in name only” if there are no Brexit Party MPs to hold him to account.
He continued: “I’m very worried about the Leave vote being split, very, very worried about these constituencies that have been Labour for decades, where the Conservatives have never won, can never win, and yet they are still putting up a candidate against our candidates who are the challengers to Labour in those seats.
“It tells me all I need to know about the Conservative Party. All they care about is the party, not getting a Leave majority in Westminster.”
He told the PA news agency that many of his supporters are “just going to turn up at the ballot box and write Brexit Party on the piece of paper”.