Wed, 22 May 2024

Newsletter sign-up

Subscribe now
The House Live All
By Lord Watson of Wyre Forest
Press releases

Tories accused of being 'economical with the truth' after they deny offering jobs to Brexit Party chiefs

3 min read

The Tories have been accused of being "economical with the truth" after they denied offering jobs senior Brexit Party figures in a bid to get them to stand down.

Brexit Party MEP Ben Habib said discussions about jobs for top party figures had been "going on without a shadow of a doubt," despite strong denials from the Conservative Party.

The comments come after the Metropolitan Police said they were "assessing" concerns of electoral fraud raised by Labour's Lord Falconer over claims that Number 10 had offered peerages as part of a bid to convince top Brexit Party figures to step aside.

The Prime Minister received a major boost earlier this week after Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage stood down over 300 candidates in Conservative-held seats.

Mr Farage has previously claimed he was offered a peerage by the Conservatives, and this week said he had been among eight Brexit Party candidates who were offered senior roles as part of an effort by Boris Johnson to neutralise the electoral threat from the anti-EU party.

Speaking to Sky's Sophy Ridge, Mr Habib said was aware that Conservative defector Ann Widdecombe had been offered a job as part of efforts to secure the Brexit Party pact.

He said: "No inducement was offered to me. But I am aware that a number of my colleagues have been pressed. And Ann Widdecombe I know, for example, was offered some sort of negotiating position with the Tory party from Number 10.

"Someone from Number 10 called. And I know there have been lots of conversations going on and discussions and pressure has been brought to bear."

Asked if Conservative denials of job offers were therefore a lie, Mr Habib said: "Well I'm saying they're being economical with the truth for sure, absolutely. It has been going on, without a shadow of a doubt."

Cabinet minister Michael Gove on Saturday denied claims that peerages had been offered in exchange for Brexit Party candidates backing down.

He told the BBC: "I'm completely unaware of any of these conversations of the kind that you mentioned.

"The Conservative Party is not interested in pacts of deals or arrangements of this kind."

It comes after Lord Falconer claimed he had "seen evidence" that Downing Street was pushing Ms Widdecombe "not to stand on the basis that she be given a place in the negotiating team," for the next round of talks with EU leaders.

A Metropolitan police spokesperson said: "The MPS [Metropolitan Police Service] has received two allegations of electoral fraud and malpractice in relation to the 2019 general election.

"The MPS special inquiry team is responsible for investigating all such criminal allegations. Both allegations are currently being assessed."


PoliticsHome Newsletters

PoliticsHome provides the most comprehensive coverage of UK politics anywhere on the web, offering high quality original reporting and analysis: Subscribe

Read the most recent article written by John Johnston - MP Warns That Online Hate Could Lead To More Real World Attacks On Parliamentarians


Political parties