Nigel Farage urges Tories to 'step aside' to let Brexit Party beat Labour
Nigel Farage has urged the Conservatives to "step aside" to give his Brexit Party a chance to take seats from Labour.
Speaking as he unveiled his party's 100 candidates for a snap general election, the former Ukip leader said his new outfit was "not a protest movement".
And he urged the Tories to consider an electoral pact to bolster pro-Brexit representation in Parliament.
He told a Brexit Party rally in Birmingham: "There are many seats in the country, especially Labour-held seats, where we are the main challenger.
"Now we can only beat the Labour Party. By voting Conservative, they let Labour win.
"If you vote Tory, you will get Corbyn and you should stand aside for the Brexit Party who can beat them in those constituencies.
"Brexit Party has shattered the status quo of politics."
Conservative leadership frontrunner Boris Johnson last week rejected Mr Farage's demand to be included in the negotiating team sent to Brussels to try and secure changes to Theresa May's Brexit deal.
The former Foreign Secretary instead blasted the Brexit Party, saying Mr Farage's group had "sprouted like puffballs" and were "feeding off the decay in trust in politics at the moment".
He added: "We're going to prick those puffballs, if that's what you do to a puffball."
But Mr Farage doubled down on his threat to the Conservatives, telling supporters that the party would have candidates ready for every seat in the House of Commons within days.
The Brexit Party won the biggest share of the vote at May's European elections, taking home 31.6% percent of the vote and pushing the Tories into fifth place.
He said: "By the end of next week we will have 650 approved prospective parliamentary candidates.
"There is a big message that Westminster needs to hear - we are not a protest movement."
However, Mr Farage refused to name any of the 100 candidates joining him on stage at the Birmingham event.
According to The Telegraph, the party plans to name all 650 candidates en masse at a later date.
£200BN SPENDING VOW
Mr Farage meanwhile used the Birmingham rally to unveil the Brexit Party's first domestic policy pledge.
The party leader pledged £200bn-worth of investment in the UK's regions, targeted primarily at areas outside of London.
The Brexit Party said the fund would be used to boost transport links and roll out fast, free broadband in every home.
Mr Farage also vowed to axe the HS2 high speed rail project and scrap business rates for new firms setting up outside of London.
"We have a big vision for the future of our country," Mr Farage said.
"We are upbeat and optimistic. We believe in Britain. Brexit is the greatest opportunity any of us will ever see in our lifetimes."