election explained

Why has Nigel Farage scrapped plans for his Brexit Party to contest 600 seats at the general election?

The leading Brexiteer may have to do more if he wants to rule out the possibility of a Final Say referendum, writes Andrew Grice

Monday 11 November 2019 19:50
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Farage was in danger of being the ‘man who lost Brexit’
Farage was in danger of being the ‘man who lost Brexit’

It might look like an early Christmas present for Boris Johnson, but Nigel Farage’s decision that the Brexit Party will not contest the 317 the Conservatives won at the 2017 election was more about safeguarding his own legacy.

Farage had been warned by close allies such as Arron Banks and Tory Eurosceptics, that his reputation risked slumping from the hero who forced David Cameron to hold the 2016 referendum, to the man who “lost Brexit” by splitting the Leave vote at this election.

He was also under intense pressure from pro-Brexit newspapers to scrap his plan to contest 600 seats. The Daily Mail told him on Monday: “Don’t hand No 10 to Corbyn by mistake.” Farage said he was acting in the national interest rather than his party’s, but it was also out of self-interest.

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