Nigel Farage is doing ‘the really brave thing’ by not standing in the upcoming general election, according to the Brexit Party’s chairman.
The party leader has ruled out trying for the eighth time to be voted into an MP’s seat, claiming he planned to focus on campaigning for the party as a whole.
Speaking on Sky News, Tice explained that Farage has “taken the very brave decision to actually say ‘I need to put the country before myself or the party’. He needs to campaign nationwide.”
After Tice claimed that it’s “really difficult” to do a nationwide campaign at the same time as standing for a constituency seat, presenter Kay Burley pointed out that Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn were managing it.
“There’s a massive difference,” said Tice. “They’re incumbents. Nigel is not […] if you’ve got an incumbent constituency, you’re in a much better position.”
“It’s because he lost so many times. He even lost against a dolphin,” countered Burley, referring to Farage’s failed attempt to stand as an independent in Buckingham in 2010, when the Monster Raving Loony candidate took more votes.
Farage has tried and failed to become an MP seven times in total.
“He’s frit though, isn’t he, Richard Tice,” said Burley. “Of course he is.”
But Tice responded: “Of all the politicians in this country, there is no-one braver and more courageous than Nigel. The suggestion that he’s frit is utter nonsense.”
He said it was “laughable” that Farage was too scared to stand as an MP.
“He’s had the courage to do the really brave thing of saying ‘no I’m going to campaign nationwide’ – to help others, not to help himself,” said Tice.
“So the last seven times he was a coward?” asked Burley. But Tice insisted that “it’s different” because Farage was previously with UKIP.
MORE: Brexiteer hurriedly ends LBC call after ‘EU army’ claims are torn apartThe chairman also explained his party’s election strategy, which involves particularly targeting Labour heartlands that voted with a Leave majority in South Wales, the north Midlands and the north and northeast.
He claimed that there are more than 100 seats in these areas that have not been Conservative in 100 years, suggesting his party would be targeting places such as Bolsover, Sunderland, Middlesbrough, Sedgefield and Ashfield.
He would not say how many seats the party would consider a success, saying only: “Look at how much impact the DUP had with just 10 seats.”