Mark Francois says Farage has 'lost the plot' after calling second referendum

PUBLISHED: 11:38 04 November 2019 | UPDATED: 10:47 06 November 2019

Nigel Farage at the Brexit Party's General Election campaign launch. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire.

Nigel Farage at the Brexit Party's General Election campaign launch. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire.

The Conservative MP and Brexiter Mark Francois has said Nigel Farage has 'lost the plot' after calling for a second referendum on electoral reform.

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The Conservative MP and Brexiter Mark Francois has said Nigel Farage has "lost the plot" after calling for a second referendum on electoral reform.

Speaking to LBC Radio's Matt Frei, Mark Francois asked: "How many Brexit Party supporters know that in their policy programme announced [on November 1], they now want a system of proportional representation.

In 2011 the coalition government held a referendum on replacing first past the post for parliamentary elections. The proposed change was defeated by 68pc.

"Now, we had a referendum a few years ago in the UK on whether or not to switch to a form of PR, we absolutely slaughtered that, it was overwhelmingly defeated.

"So now Nigel Farage wants to overturn the results of that UK-wide referendum. So he's sort of slightly lost the plot to me."

Farage wants proportional representation so smaller parties, such as his own, can get into parliament.

Francois challenged that, asking: "But how many Brexit Party supporters want to get rid of first past the post and believe in proportional representation?

"I've got sources in the Brexit Party too and what I'm hearing is they're pretty annoyed with Nigel because they think he went over the top yesterday."

When unveiling his election strategy at a London launch event, Farage was critical of Boris Johnson's failure to get the UK to leave the EU on October 31.

Francois added: "I mean, as I say, I've always respected Nigel Farage, up to a point, you could argue if he never existed, if he'd never been born, we never would have had a referendum. I think that's a fair point but I fear, at this stage, for whatever reason, Nigel slightly lost the plot."

Speaking on Monday morning to Good Morning Britain, Nigel Farage dismissed suggestions that his party would damage the Tories more than Labour by standing candidates all over the country.

He said the Brexit Party would "hurt the Labour party in the most extraordinary way."

"I led Ukip into the 2015 general election. I had all the same stuff, all the same arguments. The Tory tribe screaming and shouting, 'Don't take our votes'. The Ukip vote took more votes from Labour than it did from the Conservatives, [David] Cameron wouldn't have even got a majority without Ukip.

"I got those votes in 2015, I'll do it again," he said.

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