Brexiteers ask Nigel Farage to make election pact with Boris Johnson

Stop the Conservative vs Brexit Party ‘madness’: Tory Brexiteers urge Nigel Farage to agree an election pact to avoid a split in the Leave vote that could unleash anarchy at the polls… and may even gift seats to Remain parties

  • Brexiteer Tory MPs believe Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage must strike an electoral pact before December 12
  • They fear if two parties stand candidates against each other in marginal seats pro-Remain parties could win 
  • Losing those marginal seats to the Lib Dems or Labour could cost Mr Johnson his hopes of winning a majority
  • Mr Farage has offered Mr Johnson a pact – but only if the PM ditches his deal and campaigns for ‘clean break’
  • But Mr Johnson is due to fight the election campaign on a pledge to deliver the agreement he struck with EU 

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Tory Brexiteers have urged Nigel Farage to drop his opposition to Boris Johnson‘s deal and agree an informal election pact as they warned it would be ‘madness’ for the Brexit Party to fight against Leave-backing Conservatives.  

Mr Farage and Mr Johnson are under increasing pressure to form an alliance ahead of the December 12 snap poll to prevent their two parties from splitting the Leave vote in key constituencies.

Mr Farage has repeatedly offered a non-aggression pact to Mr Johnson if the Prime Minister agreed to ditch his divorce accord and campaign for a No Deal ‘clean break’ split from the EU instead. 

But with Mr Johnson due to fight the pre-Christmas election on a pledge to implement the deal he has struck with the EU the two parties are on now on course for a showdown at the ballot box.

Senior Conservative figures are deeply concerned that if the two parties stand candidates against each other it could allow Labour or the Lib Dems to come through the middle and win in numerous seats, scuppering the PM’s hopes of winning a majority.

As a result some Tory Brexiteers are calling on Mr Farage to effectively step aside for Leave-backing Conservative candidates in tight seats to give them a clear run at victory. 

The Brexit Party could then target its resources in a handful of Leave-voting Labour-held seats where the Tories are unlikely to win. The Tories would still stand candidates in those constituencies but they would only run minimal campaigns. 

Tory MP Nigel Evans told MailOnline: ‘It would be madness for Farage to put resources into seats where Brexiteer MPs lose to Lib Dems or Labour Remain MPs.

‘I know he doesn’t like this deal but it’s way better than remaining in the EU which will not be revisited for more than a generation – and the Remainers will have won.’

Senior Conservative figures are deeply concerned that if the two parties stand candidates against each other it could allow Labour or the Lib Dems to come through the middle and win in numerous seats, scuppering the PM’s hopes of winning a majority.

Mr Johnson, pictured leaving 10 Downing Street today, is due to campaign in the run up to December 12 on a pledge to implement the deal he has struck with the EU.

Nigel Farage, pictured in the European Parliament in Strasbourg on October 22, has repeatedly offered Boris Johnson an election pact if the PM ditched his deal and campaign for a 'clean break' from the EU

Nigel Farage, pictured in the European Parliament in Strasbourg on October 22, has repeatedly offered Boris Johnson an election pact if the PM ditched his deal and campaign for a ‘clean break’ from the EU. But Mr Johnson, pictured leaving 10 Downing Street today, is due to campaign in the run up to December 12 on a pledge to implement the deal he has struck with the EU.  

Jeremy Corbyn’s election campaign rocked by Labour infighting

Jeremy Corbyn faces a huge battle to keep Labour together during the snap election today amid claims some of his own MPs don’t want to see him as PM.

The veteran left-winger insists he is ‘ready’ for the dramatic pre-Christmas contest, describing it as a ‘once in a generation chance for change’.

But the scale of infighting within the party was underlined last night when more than 100 of his own MPs ignored his orders to back holding a snap election.

Meanwhile, former leadership contender Owen Smith has announced he will not be standing in his Pontypridd constituency, citing ‘political and personal reasons’.

Labour MPs have ridiculed Mr Corbyn and his aides for believing they are on the ‘brink of a brave new socialist dawn’, despite grim polls for the party and him personally.

One told MailOnline: ‘They think it is going to happen, he will be walking into No10. A lot of Labour MPs don’t even want that.’  

Many Tories believe that a pact – even an informal one – will be necessary to counter the potential threat posed by a so-called Remain Alliance. 

One Tory Brexiteer told MailOnline: ‘Given that it is clear that the Remain Alliance will almost certainly have a pact, it is sensible that we come to an accommodation – in both our interests.’

Another veteran Tory Eurosceptic said in an ‘ideal world’ it would be ‘brilliant’ to have a formal alliance between the two parties. 

But they said an official pact ‘is not going to happen’ because of the Conservative Party’s policy of standing candidates in all 650 seats. 

However, they said they believed an informal alliance between the Tories and Brexit Party would be possible, potentially at a constituency by constituency level. 

They told MailOnline: ‘I think it is much more likely that there will be Brexit Party candidates everywhere but the Brexit Party will concentrate on certain seats, possibly those where the Conservatives won’t win.

‘I think it will come down to local deals or local voters understanding what the right thing to do is. 

‘If the Brexit Party know that the Conservative Party candidate is as Brexit as they are they ain’t going to put the effort in.’ 

Mr Farage is ardently opposed to Mr Johnson’s Brexit deal on the grounds he believes it would leave the UK too closely linked to the EU. He is campaigning for a No Deal split from the bloc.  

Yesterday he suggested that the Brexit Party will not stand candidates in every seat even if Mr Johnson campaigns on a pledge to deliver his agreement.

He said that the election strategy issue would be discussed ‘over the next couple of days’.  

It also emerged yesterday that the party has just over 450 candidates in place for the election with more expected to be confirmed in the coming days – far short of the 650 figure. 

The snap poll on December 12 is set to be one of the most volatile in British political history. These are 10 of the crunch battleground seats which could decide the election

The snap poll on December 12 is set to be one of the most volatile in British political history. These are 10 of the crunch battleground seats which could decide the election

Mr Farage is now facing pressure from within his own party to focus its efforts on a selection of seats where it has the best chances of victory. 

Those are likely to be Leave-voting constituencies currently held by Labour MPs in areas like south Wales, the Midlands and the north of England where the Tories will struggle to win.

Potential Brexit Party target seats could include Great Grimsby where 71 per cent of voters backed Leave in 2016 and where Labour has a majority of just over 2,500 votes or Bolsover where 70 per cent of voters backed Leave and where Labour has a majority of just over 5,200.

If the Brexit Party decides not to step aside in Tory-held Leave-voting seats it could cause Mr Johnson a major headache on December 12 in constituencies like Stoke on Trent South, Mansfield and Thurrock. 

In Stoke on Trent South some 71 per cent of voters backed Leave and the Tories have a majority of 663 votes, in Mansfield 71 per cent backed Leave and the Tories have a majority of 1,057, and in Thurrock 70 per cent backed Leave and the Tories have a majority of 345. 

John Longworth, a Brexit Party MEP, suggested to The Times that ultimately getting pro-Brexit MPs elected to the House of Commons was the most important outcome at the pre-Christmas poll. 

Amber Rudd to quit as MP

Former Cabinet minister Amber Rudd announced she is quitting the Commons today – despite making peace with Boris Johnson.

The Hastings and Rye MP gave up the Conservative whip in solidarity with 21 Remainer rebels who were expelled by the PM last month.

Ten of the MPs were brought back into the fold last night as Mr Johnson gears up for the looming election battle.

Ms Rudd said this morning she would not be standing in the poll on December 12 – but suggested she expects to have the whip restored this afternoon. 

However, there are claims that chief whip Mark Spencer could refuse to let her back into the fold amid anger at her role in frustrating the PM’s Brexit plans. 

Ms Rudd had a wafer-thin majority of just 346 in the 2017 election – meaning her seat is one of Labour’s top targets.

However, the constituency voted 56 per cent for Leave, suggesting that a Brexiteer Conservative candidate might have better prospects.  

He said: ‘I think it is important for us to be sensible. I think we ought to be targeted in terms of the number of seats that we decide to address.’

He added: ‘I can imagine that might be 20 or 30. They would be entirely winnable then if you poured all your resources into them. 

‘You probably would not get any more if you concentrated on the 600. But you would also get a better result for Brexit too.’ 

Mr Farage is also under increasing pressure from the Leave.EU campaign group to do a deal with Mr Johnson. 

The group tweeted: ‘This will be the most important election for a generation, and we implore Brexiteers within the Conservatives and the Brexit Party to get around the table and agree an electoral pact. 

‘Be smart! We cannot allow party politics to cause a split in the vote. Brexit is on the line!’

Mr Farage welcomed the snap election confirmation as he tweeted last night: ‘At last the deadlock in parliament is broken, Brexit now has a chance to succeed.’

He told MailOnline yesterday that voters would have a ‘series of choices’ to decide between when the nation goes to the ballot box in December. 

‘They can vote for a party that wants to revoke, they can vote for a party that wants to have a second referendum, they can vote for a party that wants a new EU treaty or they can vote for a party which wants a clean break,’ he told MailOnline.

‘So it is going to be a full menu.’

Mr Farage did not rule out the possibility of last-ditch talks with the Tories to try to strike an election pact but he appeared to be downbeat on the prospect. 

He said: ‘We will see what happens. I am not ruling anything in, not ruling anything out. 

‘But it would appear he wants to fight the election on the basis of that treaty which I just don’t think is Brexit. But that may change.’ 

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