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Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage confirms he will not mount eighth bid to become an MP

3 min read

Nigel Farage has confirmed that he will not mount an eighth bid to become an MP in December's snap election.

The Brexit Party leader - who has previously hinted that he could stand for election - said he could better "serve the cause" of leaving the EU by campaigning "across the United Kingdom".

The MEP has failed to be elected to the Commons on seven separate occasions since the 1990s, most recently as Ukip leader in the 2015 poll.

He told LBC earlier this year that he was "going to have to" stand at the next election out of a sense of "duty".

But, speaking to the BBC's Andrew Marr on Sunday, Mr Farage said: "I've thought very hard about this: how do I serve the cause of Brexit best?

"Because that's what I'm doing this for, not for a career. I don't want to be in politics for the rest of my life. 

"Do I find a seat try and get myself into Parliament, or do I serve the cause better traversing the length and breadth of the United Kingdom supporting 600 candidates. And I've decided the latter course is the right one."

Asked to confirm he would not be standing in the 2019 election, Mr Farage said: "No. It's very difficult to do both. Very difficult to be in a constitutiency every day and at the same time be out across the United Kingdom."

The comments came after Mr Farage claimed that he had twice been offered a peerage by the Conservatives in an effort to get the Brexit Party to step aside in key seats.

The former Ukip leader has been urging the Tories to consider a pact with his party, this week giving Boris Johnson a two-week deadline to rip up his EU withdrawal agreement or face a challenge in every seat in England, Wales and Scotland.

"I've wanted for months for there to be a Leave alliance," he told Andrew Marr.

"It seems obvious to me that no one party can own Brexit voters. There are Tory Brexit voters. There are Brexit Party Brexit voters, and a lot of Labour Brexit voters.

And I always thought that to win an election, get a big majority so we can get a proper Brexit, a coming together would be the objective. I still hope and pray it happens but it doesn't look like it will."

Mr Johnson on Sunday again ruled out any form of electoral pact with Mr Farage's fledgling party, saying such a tie-up would not be "sensible" and would only serve to boost Labour.

"We’re proud of our beliefs, we’re proud of our One Nation Conservatism," he told Sky's Sophy Ridge.

"We know what we want to achieve and all I can say, respectfully, to the leaders of all other parties is, alas, the only likely consequence of voting for them rather than for us as Conservatives... is that you’re making it more likely that you will, thereby, get Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party and, sort of, a chaotic constellation of other Parties with, with nothing but dither and delay."

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