Farage pulls out of second Black Country rally as he hits out at 'double-crossing' Rupert Lowe
Nigel Farage has cancelled his appearance at a rally in Wolverhampton tonight as turmoil continued to engulf his party.
The Brexit Party leader had been due to address supporters at The Willows, in Willenhall, but pulled out just hours before the event was due to start.
It comes after this morning's planned rally at Dudley Town Hall, where Mr Farage was also due to speak, was scrapped after the Brexit Party was left without a single candidate in Dudley borough.
The Willenhall event is due to go ahead from 7pm, with West Midlands MEP Martin Daubney drafted in as a replacement lead speaker. Tickets for both events were priced at £2.50.
Mr Farage has come in for strong criticism in recent days after he rowed back on a vow to stand 600 candidates across the country to push for a "proper" Brexit.
Instead he stood down hundreds of candidates in Tory-held seats, claiming he had been swayed by a video Boris Johnson released where the PM pledged to push for a Canada-style trade deal.
In a further blow, Brexit Party MEP Rupert Lowe withdrew his candidacy in Dudley North at the eleventh hour and endorsed the Tories to avoid splitting the Leave vote.
Mr Farage today offered an apology to party supporters in the constituency, and accused Mr Lowe of "disgusting behaviour" in withdrawing his nomination.
He said he believed Mr Lowe had deliberately sabotaged any chance the party had of fielding a replacement candidate by announcing his withdrawal at 3.59pm – just one minute before Thursday’s 4pm deadline.
Asked if the Brexit Party had sanctioned Mr Lowe’s actions, Mr Farage said: "No, it was disgusting behaviour.
"What he probably hasn’t told you is that he met a senior official from No 10 in the middle of last week, somebody quite close to Boris, and this was obviously stitched up.
"If he made a decision, he went and changed course, he’s entitled to. But to let everybody else down at the eleventh hour, dreadful behaviour - shocking."
In a message to Brexit Party supporters in Dudley North, he added: "I’m sorry. We have been double-crossed, let down badly by a man who has behaved dishonestly. I’m sorry, that’s all I can say."