Nigel Farage made ‘agonising’ u-turn after being flooded with requests to stand down

After Mr Farage’s electoral pact with Boris Johnson was slapped down he vowed to contest every single seat in England, Scotland and Wales in the December 12 general election. This panicked many Brexiteers who feared if the Leave vote was split it would pave the way for victory for Remain parties and ultimately a second EU referendum. A Brexit Party source admitted that “thousands” of emails urging candidates to quit had flooded in, with some MP hopefuls receiving “dozens”.

The campaign came after Saturday’s Daily Mail carried a front page urging Mr Farage to stand aside in the interests of Britain. 

Mr Farage laid low for a few days, today acknowledging his “silence” had been noticed by some people. 

His group was forced to admit to themselves that some pro-Brexit voters did not want them to stand and risk grabbing Tory votes. 

Pro-Brexit journalist Isabel Oakeshott, who is dating Brexit Party chairman Richard Tice, said the decision to not contest Conservative-held seats was “agony” for Mr Farage. 

The former UKIP leader made up his mind last night after watching the prime minister’s video on Twitter in which he vowed not to extend the Brexit transition period beyond 2020 and also to push for a “super Canada plus” trade deal with the EU. 

The public promises were considered to be an olive branch from the Tory leader to the Brexit party leader. 

Mr Farage said: “It’s been very, very difficult and one or two have noticed my silence over the last few days. 

“It’s been a difficult decision to make but I have to say that last night for the first time I saw something since that Brussels summit that actually was optimistic.” 

After the party announced this morning it was calling off its planned campaign event in Hartlepool and would instead hold a press conference speculation began to mount over a Johnson-Farage pact. 

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“So in a sense, we now have a Leave alliance it’s just that we’ve done it unilaterally,” declared Mr Farage. 

“We’ve decided ourselves that we absolutely have to put country before party and take the fight to Labour.” 

Mr Farage said he had arrived at the “difficult” decision after “weighing up” Mr Johnson’s promises.  

He added: “I’ve also realised over the last few weeks, and we saw this through our own private polling, that if we did put up candidates I had absolutely no doubt the from South West London down into Hampshire and right out through the Western corridor all the way to Lands End that the effect of us standing would be quite a large number of Liberal Democrat gains.” 

Mr Johnson welcomed the announcement after saying the Conservative Party could not be seen to be making pacts with any other political group. 

He praised the Brexit Party leader for his “recognition that another gridlocked hung Parliament is the greatest threat to getting Brexit done.” 

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