Nigel Farage calls for Tories to stand down in Labour marginals

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage (right) at a party rally in Sedgefield. Photograph: Owen Humphreys/

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage (right) at a party rally in Sedgefield. Photograph: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire. - Credit: PA

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage has called on the Tories to stand aside in Labour-held seats to try to get more pro-Brexit MPs elected.

The Brexit Party had been under pressure not to field candidates in Labour marginals after he abandoned plans to contest those held by the Tories at the last election.

Farage said it was a "difficult decision" to stand candidates down, amid fears it could lead to a hung parliament and a second referendum.

But he has reportedly refused to rule out a further withdrawal, even though he vowed in a column for The Daily Telegraph that the party would focus on fighting every Labour-held seat.

Asked if he might "back-pedal" and not challenge Tory candidates in marginal seats, Farage was quoted by The Telegraph as saying: "I have just taken 48 hours to make this decision - allow this one to settle first."

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Now the Brexit Party leader is calling for the Tories to stand aside in Labour marginal seats.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast, he said: "I've just gifted the Conservative Party nearly two dozen seats and I did it because I believe in Leave.

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"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."

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said Farage's manoeuvres could pave the way to a US trade deal, giving American pharmaceutical companies access to the NHS.

"One week ago Donald Trump told Nigel Farage to make a pact with Boris Johnson. Today, Trump got his wish. This Trump alliance is Thatcherism on steroids," he said.

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