Nigel Farage accuses Tories of offering Brexit Party candidates jobs to stand down

14 November 2019, 20:04

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage has accused the government of offering jobs to Brexit Party candidates
Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage has accused the government of offering jobs to Brexit Party candidates. Picture: PA

By Maddie Goodfellow

Nigel Farage has accused the Tories of promising jobs to Brexit Party candidates if they agree to not stand in next month's general election.

The Brexit Party leader claimed on Twitter that Downing Street is making a "concerted effort" to persuade his candidates to stand down in marginal seats.

He said those who agreed were being promised jobs if they did not run in the election.

In a video posted to his social media, Mr Farage also claimed that he, along with eight "senior figures" in his party, were offered peerages.

Mr Farage claimed that the government "bypassed" him, and instead went directly to senior Brexit Party officials, suggesting "eight of them could go into the House of Lords".

His claims have also been supported by Brexit Party chairman Richard Tice.

In a statement, Mr Tice claimed: "Our people have been offered jobs and titles to stand down as candidates on the last day of nominations, as part of a concerted campaign to undermine our party".

He said the party have been "dismayed by the behaviour of senior Conservative Party figures".

The Conservative party have denied the claims, saying no jobs or peerages have been offered to candidates.

Taking to Twitter, Mr Farage claimed Boris Johnson's Chief Strategic Advisor, Sir Edward Lister, has been "calling our candidates and offering them jobs if they withdraw."

He also accused the political system of being "corrupt and broken."

Mr Farage also posted a video to Twitter on Tuesday, in which he said: “We want what 17.4 million people voted for and we want to change politics for good, because I tell you, having tried the attack, they then tried something that frankly I think is bordering on corruption but it says so much about Westminster and the way things run.

“I’ve said in the past and I’ll say it again, repeatedly it’s been suggested to me that I might like to have a seat in the House of Lords, so that I can go quietly.“And every time this gets said my answer is the same – I’m not for sale, I’m not interested, I don’t want anything. I just want to get Brexit delivered.”

He continued: “So knowing they couldn’t buy me off, there was a concerted attempt from people who work deep inside Number 10 Downing Street, and I’m not blaming Boris for this.

"I don’t believe he would be part of thisbut it shows you the calibre of people he’s got around him."It shows you the culture that exists in Westminster.”

Mr Farage added: “They bypassed me and went to other senior figures in the Brexit Party, suggesting that eight of them could go into the House of Lords, and all they had to do was come to Nigel and convince him to stand down in a whole load more marginal seats.

“As you can imagine, I said I do not want, and I will never have, anything to do with this kind of behaviour.

“This is what our country has sunk to. This is appalling. This is why politics absolutely needs to change for good.”

A Conservative spokesman said: "Neither the Conservative Party, nor its officials have offered Brexit Party candidates jobs or peerages. We don't do electoral pacts, our pact is with the British people.

"The only way to get Brexit done and unleash Britain's potential is to vote for your local Conservative candidate, otherwise the country runs the risk of another deadlocked Parliament, or even worse a Labour/SNP coalition led by Jeremy Corbyn who would subject Britain to two referendums in 2020."

Ian Lavery, Labour Party chairman, said: "It looks like Boris Johnson is trying to stitch-up this election by offering jobs to Brexit Party candidates to get them to stand down.

"This gives a whiff of the corrupt way the establishment works. We can't allow the Tories to run the country a minute longer. It's time for real change."

Mr Farage has previously confirmed that he will not stand down any more candidates to help the Tories win a majority.

However, he did say that if the Conservatives "showed some reciprocity", Brexit Party supporters would be likely to support the Tories in the 317 seats in which Brexit Party candidates will not be sitting.

He also accused Boris Johnson's party of only caring about getting a Conservative majority in Parliament, and not about securing a pro-Leave majority.