Ex-Conservative donors ready to give 'big bucks' to Brexit Party, claims Nigel Farage
7 May 2019, 16:23 | Updated: 7 May 2019, 17:40
Former Conservative donors are ready to provide "big bucks" for Nigel Farage's Brexit Party to fight a general election, the anti-EU campaigner has suggested.
The Brexit Party has been formed to contest the upcoming European Parliament elections on 23 May, which the government has now confirmed will definitely take place.
But Mr Farage used a news conference on Tuesday to set his sights beyond this month.
Promising the Brexit Party would "be ready" to fight a general election "that took place any time from September onwards", Mr Farage said: "For us, these European elections on 23 May are but a first step.
"We intend, as the slogan says, to change politics for good."
The Brexit Party has already raised "well over" £2m to fight the EU elections, Mr Farage said, with 90% of it coming from 88,000 registered supporters paying £25 each.
A £100,000 donation has also been received by the party, but Mr Farage has refused to reveal the name of the person behind it.
The former UKIP leader added "much bigger donors, traditionally donors to the Conservative Party" were now in conversations with the Brexit Party "because they understand and realise that to fight a general election seriously we are going to need big bucks".
The Brexit Party are advertising for general election candidates on their website and are also set to contest the Peterborough by-election on 6 June.
The party are holding a rally in the Cambridgeshire city on Tuesday night.
Mr Farage defended appearances with the controversial US talk show host Alex Jones, who runs the Infowars website, which has been accused of promoting conspiracy theories.
"If you appear on programmes, it doesn't mean that you support the editorial line necessarily," Mr Farage said.
"I have never been a conspiracy theorist at all."
Mr Jones has previously claimed the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting in America was a hoax. He has been banned from both Facebook and Instagram.
The Liberal Democrats, who enjoyed a resurgence in last week's local elections, launched their poster campaign for the EU elections in Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn's Islington North constituency on Tuesday.
The party is targeting Labour Remainers "disillusioned" by Mr Corbyn's decision to enter cross-party talks with the government on a Brexit deal.
Speaking at the north London event, Lib Dem leader Sir Vince Cable said: "We are making it absolutely clear that Labour need to get off the fence.
"This attempt to try and negotiate a last-minute stitch-up with the government is completely wrong and completely against the views and instincts of the mass majority of their MPs, their supporters and their members.
"Naturally, that will mean the Liberal Democrats will take up the natural home of the many people who are now thoroughly disillusioned and disaffected with the Labour leadership.
"I think, after last week, I am confident to say that we are in a very good place.
"We are clearly the lead Remain party and we expect to do well in these elections, especially in London where there is a lot of Remain support."
UKIP leader Gerard Batten was due to speak in Lowestoft, Suffolk, on Tuesday night - alongside former reality TV contestant Katie Hopkins - as the party continue its own campaigning ahead of the EU elections.