A number of Brexit Party candidates have stood down on the first day of election campaigning in what will come as a bitter blow to their chances of success.
Nigel Farage announced yesterday that the party would be unleashing 600 election candidates across the UK.
Lambasting the “sell-out” Tory plan he said Boris Johnson’s deal was “not Brexit”, scuppering any chances of an alliance.
Leave the field
Jacob Rees-Mogg urged him to step aside and “leave the field” shortly after the announcement, saying he risks snatching “defeat from the jaws of victory”.
And many of Farage’s own party candidates appear to agree.
Two candidates withdrew today over fears the Brexit Party could prevent Boris Johnson getting a majority.
A third dropped out for personal reasons.
Fantastical and dangerous strategy
Paul Brothwood stood aside in the marginal Dudley South seat, in the West Midlands, and announced he’s now backing sitting Conservative MP Mike Wood.
Stephen Peddie, the party’s pick for Tonbridge and Malling in Kent, quit just hours later and publicly attacked the Brexit Party leader on Twitter, accusing him of pursuing a ‘fantastical and dangerous strategy’.
Mr Peddie said: “I resigned as a PPC because I worried the Brexit Party was evolving from a national asset to a national threat.
“I suspect I’m far from alone.
“We have “a” Brexit only because of Farage, that doesn’t make it his to destroy along with our country.”
Main donor switches allegiance
At the same time, one of Mr Farage’s main donors switched his allegiance to the Tories and announced he would now be supporting Mr Johnson at the election.
Property developer Jeffrey Hobby, who donated £10,000 to the Brexit Party ahead of the European Parliament elections in May, said he believed the prime minister was doing a ‘fantastic job’.
He added: “It is a shame if Nigel Farage wants to take him on across the country, I don’t think that is helpful for the Brexit Party, the Tory Party or the cause.
“For the Brexit Party to field candidates across all seats seems a waste of resources and not the wisest move.”