Nigel Farage unveils Brexit Party's 600 candidates at election campaign launch

4 November 2019, 22:04

Mr Farage said his party would target Labour strongholds
Mr Farage said his party would target Labour strongholds. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

Brexit Party candidates will stand in roughly 600 constituencies in December's general election and will target Labour Leave voters, says Nigel Farage.

The Leave figurehead was speaking in Westminster at the launch of the Brexit Party's election campaign.

Despite the fanfare, individual candidates were not announced on stage and a full list of their names and the constituencies they would be standing in were not provided to reporters.

During his speech, Mr Farage vowed to target the millions of Labour voters who opted to leave the European Union in the 2016 referendum but were represented by pro-Remain MPs.

"Those five million are the most vulnerable group of voters to the Brexit Party in this country," he said.

"I will be out in those Labour constituencies. I'll be in the East Midlands, I'll be in South Wales. I'll be in the North East. I want the country to know the sheer extent of Labour betrayal."

Nigel Farage said his party is the only one to offer Brexit
Nigel Farage said his party is the only one to offer Brexit. Picture: PA

The Brexit Party MEP for the South East stated he would take on the "two tribes" of the Conservatives and Labour who had broken their promises following the EU referendum and the 2017 general election.

He also accused Boris Johnson and the Conservatives of a "conceited arrogance" for refusing to form an alliance and suggesting he step aside to ensure Brexit gets done.

The former Ukip leader dismissed concerns that his party could split the pro-Brexit vote by running against the Tories.

"They say that we will split the vote. We won't split the vote because we will be the only people actually offering Brexit, leaving the European Union and its institutions," he said.

Speaking about the prime minister's Brexit deal, he said: "He says vote for this and get Brexit done. That is a very tempting slogan with a public who, after three and a half years of this process, in many cases have just about had enough.

"But the problem is that it doesn't get Brexit done. It takes us into three more years of agonising negotiations with Michel Barnier in charge."

The Leave campaigner said Boris Johnson's deal will lead to years of negotiations
The Leave campaigner said Boris Johnson's deal will lead to years of negotiations. Picture: PA

On Sunday, the Brexit Party leader confirmed he would not be running for a seat himself, saying he believes he can better serve the cause by "traversing the length and breadth" of the UK campaigning instead of fighting to get elected in a single constituency.

Mr Farage has failed to win a parliamentary seat on seven separate occasions.

“I’ve thought very hard about this – how do I serve the cause of Brexit best, because that’s what I’m doing this for. Not for a career, I don’t want to be in politics for the rest of my life," Mr Farage said.

The Brexit Party candidates were revealed after the Conservatives rebuffed Nigel Farage's offer of an election alliance, a move that the MEP labelled "arrogant".

Brexit Party candidate names were not officially released
Brexit Party candidate names were not officially released. Picture: PA

Boris Johnson dismissed the suggestion in LBC’s world exclusive interview with Donald Trump that he should form a ‘pact’ with the Brexit Party leader.

During a phone-in with LBC on Monday morning Jacob Rees-Mogg, the leader of the Commons and staunch Brexiter, said Nigel Farage should “retire from the field” because he had already achieved his lifelong ambition to deliver Brexit.

In an interview with ITV’s Good Morning Britain Mr Farage played down suggestions that by standing candidates all over Britain, his party would damage the Tories more than Labour. He said his party would “hurt the Labour party in the most extraordinary way.”

"We are going to hurt the Labour party in the most extraordinary way. We’ll do it in South Wales, we’ll do it in the Midlands, we’ll do it in the north of England," he said.

"Those Labour voters have been completely betrayed by the Labour party. They are my number one target. I got those votes in 2015, I’ll do it again."