Nigel Farage suggested he could vote for the Conservatives in the election today as he vowed he will not stand down any more of his Brexit Party candidates at the general election.Mr Farage paid a visit to a boxing club in London and declared he had weathered a series of ‘very heavy blows’ in recent days…
Nigel Farage suggested he could vote for the Conservatives in the election today as he vowed he will not stand down any more of his Brexit Party candidates at the general election.
Mr Farage paid a visit to a boxing club in London and declared he had weathered a series of ‘very heavy blows’ in recent days after he announced his decision to pull out of 317 Tory-held seats.
He is under growing pressure to go even further and scrap plans to contest Labour-held Leave-backing marginal seats which will be key Tory targets on December 12.
But Mr Farage today refused to budge as he said he would not give into what he described as ‘intimidation’ ahead of a 4pm deadline tomorrow to declare candidates.
And in an incredible admission he hinted that he would be prepared to vote for Boris Johnson’s party himself, as he lives in a Tory constituency.
Asked on the campaign trail in Ilford on Wednesday whether he could vote Tory personally, Mr Farage said: ‘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.’
He later tried to u-turn tweeting: ‘No, given the way the Conservative Party have behaved this week – I could not vote for them.’
Mr Farage, pictured at the boxing gym in Ilford, said he would not give into ‘intimidation’ to stand down more Brexit Party candidates
But in an incredible admission he hinted that he would be prepared to vote for Boris Johnson’s (pictured in Coventry today) party himself, as he lives in a Tory constituency.
The leader of the Brexit Party then posed with heavyweight British boxer Derek Chisora
Nigel Farage has brushed off calls from his own long term ally Arron Banks to ‘save Brexit’ by withdrawing from Labour-held marginals
Moving around the boxing ring with his fists raised in a fighting stance, Mr Farage said his party would contest all remaining non-Tory seats.
He told activists: ‘We are back in the ring again. A lot of people over the last week have tried to land some very heavy blows on me, virtually everybody in establishment politics, many sections of the media.
‘But I tell you what, we are still there, we are still moving.’
Asked if he intended to withdraw his candidates from Labour-held seats, Mr Farage replied: ‘No, that is just an attempt at intimidation that has come from elements of the press.
‘We are going to take on all of the Remainers who are standing in this country.’
He added: ‘We’re going to stand against every single one of them.’
Mr Farage revealed yesterday evening he has 300 Brexit Party candidates ‘signed off’ and ready to fight the election.
He tweeted: ‘I put country before party… and now will take the fight to Labour. 300 nominations have been signed off — time to get on the road!’
Mr Farage’s decision to stand aside in Tory-held seats stunned Westminster and appeared to have an immediate impact on the election campaign as the Conservatives subsequently soared to a 14 point poll lead over Labour.
But some Eurosceptics believe Mr Farage could still scupper Mr Johnson’s hopes of a majority if he sticks by his plan to fight in Labour seats.
Winning Labour marginals in areas which voted Leave at the 2016 EU referendum will be key to Mr Johnson’s hopes of victory on polling day.
If Mr Farage stands candidates in those constituencies he could split the Leave vote and allow Labour to hold on – or leave the door open for the Lib Dems.
As a result he is facing intense pressure to pull out of knife-edge Labour seats before tomorrow’s candidate deadline.
Arron Banks, the former Ukip donor and founder of the Leave.EU campaign group, yesterday told Mr Farage he had 48 hours to ‘save Brexit’ and prevent a Jeremy Corbyn-led government.
A YouGov poll, the first conducted since Mr Farage tore up his original election strategy of fighting in every seat across England, Scotland and Wales, put the Tories on 42 per cent and Labour way back on 28 per cent.
Brexit Party support plummeted six points on the equivalent survey from last week to just four per cent – reflecting Mr Farage’s grudging endorsement of Johnson’s EU divorce deal.
Boris Johnson accuses Jeremy Corbyn of ‘political onanism’ and says only the Tories can end the ‘Brexit groundhoggery’
Boris Johnson will today hit out at Jeremy Corbyn, accusing the Labour leader of ‘political self-obsession and onanism’ – an 18th Century term for masturbation.
The Prime Minister will claim that as well as a second Brexit referendum, Corbyn will grant the SNP a grant Scottish independence referendum, which he will blast as ‘an expense of spirit and a waste of shame, more political self-obsession and onanism’.
He will also pledge to get Britain ‘out of the rut’ of the last three years by delivering Brexit and triggering a green revolution, in his first major speech of the election campaign.
Mr Johnson will hammer home his central message that only a Conservative majority can ‘end the Brexit groundhoggery’.
But he will also paint a picture of a brighter future, saying that delivering Brexit will allow the country to ‘unleash Britain’s potential’.
The poll, carried out for the Times and Sky News, deliberately excluded the Brexit Party in the Tory-held seats where Mr Farage will not stand against Conservatives, explaining the drop in support.
Mr Johnson will seek to capitalise on the boost today, using a speech at an electric vehicle manufacturer in the West Midlands this afternoon to warn that a Labour-SNP coalition would ‘ruin 2020’ with two referendums.
The PM will say: ‘If we can get a working majority we can get Parliament working for you, we can get out of the rut. We can end the groundhoggery of Brexit…
‘We face a historic choice. At this election the country can either move forwards with policies that will deliver years of growth and prosperity, or it can disappear into an intellectual cul-de-sac of far left Corbynism.
‘We can honour the wishes of the people, or else we can waste more time, at the cost of a billion pounds per month, and have two more referendums, one on Scotland and one on the EU – an expense of spirit and a waste of shame, more political self-obsession and onanism.’
He urged undecided voters to ‘imagine waking up on Friday December 13 after the election to find the Corbyn-Sturgeon coalition in Downing Street’.
‘They will ruin 2020 with two referendums, they will ruin the economy with out of control debt, they will put taxes up for everyone and instead of an Australian points system we’ll have uncontrolled and unlimited immigration.’
Numerous surveys conducted in recent weeks have given Mr Johnson a double digit lead over Mr Corbyn.
Mr Farage had initially vowed to fight the Tories in every seat at the election if Mr Johnson refused to strike a Leave Alliance.
These are 40 Labour-held seats where the Tories were in second place at the last election – and a Brexit Party candidate could potentially prevent them from turning blue on December 12
He said he would agree to a non-aggression pact with Mr Johnson if the PM ditched his Brexit accord and campaigned for a so-called ‘clean break’ No Deal split from the EU.
But the PM refused to back down and Mr Farage was forced to blink first as he suggested he could live with the PM’s deal and set out his revised election strategy to stand aside in Tory-held seats.
And that decision could also see Mr Farage dropped from a prime time television slot next month.
The Brexit Party leader was being lined up for a 30-minute Question Time special in the run-up to the December 12 vote because of his plans to field 600 candidates nationwide.
But after he bowed to pressure and decided not to stand in 317 Tory-held constituencies the BBC is reviewing its decision, the Times reported.
A spokesman for the broadcaster said today that its plans for election programmes were ‘not finalised yet’.
Mr Farage’s decision appears to have prompted his party to haemorrhage support with the YouGov rating of four per cent believed to be the lowest recorded since the Brexit Party launched earlier this year ahead of the European Parliament elections.
The new poll represents a major boost to Mr Johnson and the Tories will be thrilled that they appear to have seen off much of the threat posed by the Brexit Party.
It is also likely to banish Eurosceptic fears that the two parties could split the Leave vote in seats where they both stand candidates because the Tories appear to have all but won the battle for Brexit supporters.
A new YouGov survey puts the Tories on 42 per cent and Labour on 28 per cent while support for the Brexit Party appears to have collapsed
The latest YouGov poll gave Boris Johnson a major boost. He is pictured visiting Stainforth, Doncaster which has been hit by flooding
The Prime Minister also faced a fresh setback on the campaign trail today when furious flood victims confronted him as he visited South Yorkshire – accusing him of failing to ‘help’.
As he broke off from election campaigning to see the devastation for himself, the Prime Minister was given a rough ride by locals in Fishlake – who are bracing for more downpours.
One woman Mr Johnson approached said: ‘I’m not very happy about talking to you, so I’ll just get on with what I’m doing… you’ve not helped us.’
Another demanded to know whether he had been up to now, and said the help was ‘loo little too late’.
Speaking to reporters after the clashes, Mr Johnson admitted more resources had to be put into flood defences. ‘I perfectly understand how people feel. you cannot underestimate the anguish…
‘The shock of seeing your home engulfed by water is huge, and also the anxiety about what might be to come.
‘There is a lot more still to be done and homeowners need the reassurance… in the long term you just have to put in the flood defences.’
He announced there would be funding for local councils which would be distributed to local households, which could be in the region of around £500 per property.