Former Brexit Party MEPs join the Tories ahead of Brexit vote

PUBLISHED: 12:17 08 January 2020 | UPDATED: 12:28 08 January 2020

(left to right) Annunziata Rees-Mogg, Lance Forman, Lucy Harris and John Longworth at a press conference in London. Photograph: Luciana Guerra/PA.

(left to right) Annunziata Rees-Mogg, Lance Forman, Lucy Harris and John Longworth at a press conference in London. Photograph: Luciana Guerra/PA.

PA Wire/PA Images

Four former Brexit Party MEPs including Jacob Rees-Mogg's sister have joined the Conservative Party ahead of the big Brexit vote in the European parliament.

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Annunziata Rees-Mogg, Lance Forman, John Longworth and Lucy Harris are all to be unveiled as new Conservative MEPs after quitting Nigel Farage's party days before the general election.

The move is expected to be announced by Conservative Party chairman James Cleverly in a press conference.

It will double the number of Conservatives in the European Parliament from four MEPs to eight.

The move is unlikely to surprise anyone with the MEPs supporting Boris Johnson in the general election hours after quitting the Brexit Party.

But there was some embarrassment after footage emerged of Rees-Mogg criticising the prime minister after he became Tory leader.

In footage leaked by the Bassetlaw Brexit Party Rees-Mogg is seen saying: "[Boris Johnson] does not believe in right and wrong".

"He voted for Theresa May through thick and thin and the disastrous deal. He supported her while she was prime minister," she says.

"It took him a long time to resign. When he did he wanted the job for himself and he realised that leaving properly was probably the only way he could garner the votes - he's an opportunist. He does not believe in right and wrong, as far as I can tell he believes in Boris Johnson."

The Brexit Party released the video in an attempt to damn the defector, with MEP Ben Habib saying: "[Annunziata Rees-Mogg] you may well be right about him. If so, how do you justify advocating people vote for him?"

A vote on the Withdrawal Agreement is expected on January 29th - the same day that MPs will vote for the final time in the House of Commons.

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