Nigel Farage fights back against claims he will vote Conservative

13 November 2019, 19:36

Nigel Farage will not back Boris without seeing the Tory manifesto
Nigel Farage will not back Boris without seeing the Tory manifesto. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage will "not vote" for the Tories despite telling reporters he "wanted to see" what was in their manifesto.

Mr Farage, who recently spoke with US President Donald Trump in an exclusive LBC interview, took to social media to refute claims he was going to vote for Boris Johnson's party.

The former Ukip leader was forthright in his response to a tweet which had claimed "he may vote Conservative."

He told his 1.5 million followers on Twitter: "No, given the way the Conservative party have behaved this week - I could not vote for them."

His comments come following a press event in Hainault, East London, where he was asked whether he could personally vote Tory in his own constituency.

Mr Farage replied: "I want to see the manifesto. Let me see what is in the manifesto. I'm hoping and believing that what Boris said last Sunday is going to be in the manifesto.

"If that is in the manifesto then the deal as was is about to be changed in quite a big way."

Earlier this week, the Brexit Party leader announced he would not put candidates up against the 317 seats won by the Conservatives in 2017, including his own constituency in Kent.

Nearly half of all UK constituencies will therefore not have a Brexit Party candidate on their ballot paper.

Mr Farage appeared alongside boxer Dereck Chisora
Mr Farage appeared alongside boxer Dereck Chisora. Picture: PA

Before offering his vote to the Conservatives, Mr Farage told reporters he wanted to ensure that changes Mr Johnson indicated he would make were written into the party's manifesto.

These changes included refusing to extend trade talks with the European Union past 2020 and ruling out future political alignment with Brussels.

If these do not appear in the Tory election programme then the South East MEP has threatened to vote down the prime minister's Withdrawal Agreement in the European Parliament.

He added he would "never have voted for" the original Brexit Deal struck up by Mr Johnson, calling it "terrible."

"The original deal I would never have voted for - don't forget, I'm still an MEP. It would come back to the European Parliament, I would never have voted for it in a month of Sundays," he said.

"We get those changes and we start to get towards Brexit and it is very different."

Nigel Farage fought back against claims he would vote Conservative
Nigel Farage fought back against claims he would vote Conservative. Picture: PA

The pro-Leave figurehead promised to take on every Labour and Remain-backing MP across the country and would not stand down any more candidates, even in marginal Tory seats.

Mr Farage was appearing alongside heavyweight boxer Derek Chisora at the event in Ilford. He told the press he found it "incredible" that the Conservatives were refusing to step aside in Labour marginals where the Brexit Party were the main challengers.

"There is risk now of the Leave vote being split. It is them now putting this at risk, not me," he said.

"The Conservatives have refused to give anything. There is, I can assure you, quite widespread disenchantment among leave voters of all persuasions that my gesture has received no reciprocation at all."