Farage refuses to be drawn on reports Brexit Party will cut candidate numbers

The Brexit Party will launch its General Election campaign on Friday amid reports it could focus on Labour seats in Leave areas.

Leader of the Brexit Party Nigel Farage
Leader of the Brexit Party Nigel Farage

Nigel Farage has refused to rule out the prospect of the Brexit Party withdrawing hundreds of election candidates in order to target a small number of Labour-held seats.

Mr Farage said his strategy would become clear at the launch of the party’s General Election campaign on Friday.

Asked if he was ruling out standing down hundreds of candidates, the party leader told the PA news agency: “I’ve ruled nothing in, I’ve ruled nothing out. I am making a completely neutral comment ahead of our launch tomorrow.”

The remarks follow a report in the Daily Telegraph stating the party was considering slashing the number of would-be MPs it fields in the December 12 General Election in order to concentrate resources on 20-40 Labour seats in Leave areas.

Referring to the report, Mr Farage said: “This is idle speculation.

“I have not spoken to anyone of any seniority in the party (about this).”

If the party did stand down hundreds of candidates across the country it would improve the chances of Boris Johnson’s Tories gaining a majority or remaining the largest party in a hung parliament.

The Prime Minister has repeatedly ruled out an election pact with the Brexit Party.

Some senior Tories fear that Mr Farage’s Brexit Party could peel away enough traditional Conservative voters in tight races to allow the opposition to take the seat.

Mr Farage has been critical of the PM’s Brexit stance and the fact Mr Johnson failed to deliver on his pledge to take the UK out of the EU on October 31 “do or die”.

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