General Election 2019: Nigel Farage says he will not stand as MP

3 November 2019, 09:25 | Updated: 3 November 2019, 16:03

Nigel Farage has said he will not stand as an MP in the upcoming election.

The Brexit Party leader, who has said he will field 600 candidates in seats across the UK, told Sky News that he believed his cause was better served by travelling around the country.

Mr Farage was unsuccessful in each of his seven attempts to run for parliament as a UKIP candidate.

He said: "I've thought hard about it. How do I best serve the Brexit cause? Is it by finding a seat or is it by supporting 600 men and women who are going to fight seats?

"And as importantly, I want to get out round the country and remind people that the Labour Party have completely broken the promises they made to the British people.

"Secondly, I want people to understand fully that when Boris Johnson says he was delivering Brexit, what he is putting on the table is not Brexit and I'm going to tell them why."

Responding, Conservative Party arty chairman James Cleverly said: "Nigel Farage has already admitted that a vote for the Brexit Party risks letting (Jeremy) Corbyn in through the backdoor creating another gridlocked hung Parliament that doesn't work.

"Scores of his supporters have already called for him to back Boris' great new deal as, just like us, they want to get Brexit done and let the country move on.

"We can then focus on the people's priorities - investing in our NHS, tackling violent crime, and cutting the cost of living"

Mr Farage has been an member of European Parliament since 1999, representing South East England.

After quitting as leader of UKIP in 2016 following the EU referendum, he left the party in 2018 and went on to form the Brexit Party.

Speculation about whether Mr Farage would commit to a full field of candidates or announce a more targeted push in Leave-leaning seats was rife in Westminster before the launch of his party's campaign on Friday.

During the launch, he issued an ultimatum to the prime minister - that the Brexit Party would stand across Britain unless Boris Johnson scraps the withdrawal agreement he secured with Brussels, giving him two weeks to decide.

In an interview with Sky's Sophy Ridge, the prime minister rejected the offer outright.

A confidential Tory election dossier obtained by Sky News detailing the "attack messages" candidates are expected to use aims to counter the electoral threat posed by Mr Farage acknowledging people "might like what the Brexit Party say", but warning a vote for them will "let Labour and the Lib Dems in".