Nigel Farage under pressure not to stand Brexit Party candidates in Labour marginals
Nigel Farage is coming under pressure from senior Conservatives not to stand candidates in Labour-held marginals.
The Brexit Party has already announced that the Brexit Party will not contest the 317 seats won by the Tories at the last election.
Announcing the U-turn on Monday, Mr Farage said the move guaranteed there would be no second EU referendum.
But he is now facing calls to stand down in swathes of Labour seats being targeted by the Conservatives on 12 December so avoit splitting the Leave vote.
Former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith said: "It’s a good start but if they want to deliver Brexit they’ve still got to focus on the fact that if they divide the vote they’ll let Labour in.
"He’s going to have to go further. This is a game of two halves — we’ve had the first half and now we’re going to have the second half.
"The second half is where he gets to decide which seats he stands down from, and he’s going to have to stand down from some of them."
Mr Farage had initially pledged to stand candidates in every seat in England and Wales unless Boris Johnson agreed to ditch his Brexit deal.
But he said he had changed his mind after the Prime Minister announced that he would not seek to extend the post-Brexit transition period, which is due to run out at the end of 2020.
Writing in The Telegraph, the Brexit Party leader insisted they would still stand in Labour seats on 12 December.
He said: "Now, The Brexit Party will focus its energies on fighting every seat held by Labour, which has betrayed more than five million of its voters, and all the Remainer parties.
"If we can win some of these seats, our presence in parliament will keep Boris Johnson honest and help to deliver Brexit.
"I have no great love for the Tories, but I can see that by giving Johnson half a chance we will prevent a second referendum. To me, that is the single most important thing for Britain. No matter how it is achieved."
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"The Conservatives will have been pleased with Farage’s announcement that the Brexit Party won’t stand in 317 seats that the Tories won in 2017, but the Brexit Party could still present a big problem in target seats that the Tories need to win for a majority.
"The Brexit Party could easily take more voters from the Conservatives than Labour – as an example, UKIP was estimated to have taken three votes from the Tories for every one for Labour, and the Conservatives were seen to have suffered most in the European elections.
"If The Tories are to get a majority, a 4/7 shot (63.69%) with Star Sports, they will need to capture a number of Labour held seats and realistically they will be leave voting ones – so Farage has another big call to make."
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