Farage hits out as MEPs quit party

Manchester Evening News - - NATIONAL -

NIGEL FARAGE has ac­cused three MEPs who quit his Brexit Party and then urged peo­ple to vote Con­ser­va­tive, of hav­ing per­sonal links with the Tories.

He in­sisted that Boris John­son’s EU with­drawal deal re­mained “un­ac­cept­able” de­spite the trio re­sign­ing the whip to back the Prime Min­is­ter’s push to “get Brexit done”.

An­nun­zi­ata Rees-Mogg – sis­ter of Com­mons Leader Ja­cob Rees-Mogg – Lance For­man and Lucy Harris dra­mat­i­cally an­nounced they would leave the Brexit Party yes­ter­day morn­ing.

It fol­lows the de­ci­sion ear­lier this week to sack John Long­worth, the for­mer di­rec­tor gen­eral of the Bri­tish Cham­bers of Com­merce, for “re­peat­edly un­der­min­ing” Mr Farage’s elec­tion strat­egy.

Mr Farage told the BBC’s An­drew Neil: “One of them is a sis­ter of a Cab­i­net min­is­ter, another one has a boyfriend work­ing for that Cab­i­net min­is­ter, fact, and another one is a per­sonal friend of Boris John­son’s.”

He added: “They joined the coali­tion that I put to­gether. Now they clearly were dis­af­fected with Mrs May as leader. And I’ll tell you some­thing, Boris John­son’s deal un­a­mended is un­ac­cept­able and I cer­tainly stand by that.”

The Brexit Party leader ear­lier said he was “dis­ap­pointed” by the de­ci­sion of the three MEPs, which will come as a blow to the party just a week be­fore polling day.

Ms Rees-Mogg ear­lier de­nied that her brother or any­one in the Con­ser­va­tive Party played a role in her de­ci­sion to quit the Brexit Party.

“I have had no ap­proaches from the Con­ser­va­tive Party in any de­scrip­tion and I am frankly find­ing it re­ally quite dis­turbingly old-fash­ioned that peo­ple are sug­gest­ing that my brother gets to tell me what to do with my po­lit­i­cal views – he doesn’t,” she said.

Else­where on the cam­paign trail, the Con­ser­va­tives have promised to cut taxes for fam­i­lies in a post-Brexit Fe­bru­ary bud­get as they set out their plan for the first 100 days of govern­ment.

Mr John­son said 2020 would be “the year we fi­nally put be­hind us the ar­gu­ments and un­cer­tainty over Brexit” if the Tories get a ma­jor­ity at the Gen­eral Elec­tion.

The plan was branded “pure fan­tasy” and the PM has been ac­cused of ly­ing to the pub­lic, with the Lib­eral Democrats say­ing a Tory govern­ment would “re­main com­pletely con­sumed by Brexit not just for the next 100 days, but for years to come”.

Mr John­son’s cam­paign bus was met by pro­test­ers shout­ing “hey, hey, ho, ho, Boris John­son’s got to go” as it ar­rived in Der­byshire for an elec­tion visit.

Labour, mean­while, has faced fur­ther crit­i­cism over its han­dling of anti-Semitism within party ranks.

Lawyers for the Jewish Labour Move­ment said 70 Labour staffers past and present had given sworn tes­ti­mony into an of­fi­cial in­quiry by the Equal­i­ties and Hu­man Rights Com­mis­sion into anti-Semitism in the party.

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.