How Brexit Party was almost pitched against a sole referendum candidate in Peterborough writes Peston

Femi Oluwole could have ran against Nigel Farage's Brexit Party in the Peterborough by-election. Credit: YouTube/PA

Femi Oluwole, of our Our Future Our Choice, the influential young campaigner for a people's vote, came within a whisker of being the single pro-referendum candidate in the Peterborough by-election.

He was a candidate until just two hours before the official deadline for registering - and as a consequence none of the Change UK, the Liberal Democrats, the Greens or Renew would have fielded independent candidates.

However he pulled out at the last moment, because - he tells me - he became concerned that if he had run, Labour's vote would have been significantly reduced and that might have led to electoral success for Nigel Farage's Brexit Party.

Nigel Farage during a Brexit Party rally in Peterborough King's Gate Conference Centre as part of their European Parliament election campaign. Credit: PA

He also says there were complicated legal issues for OFOC.

That said Change UK have issue a release in which they allege that "senior figures campaigning for a People's Vote" who support Labour had "made clear they would strenuously disrupt the campaign and obstruct an independent candidate".

Change UK did not name Femi Oluwole but I subsequently learned he was that "independent" candidate.

I then asked Femi if he felt he had been put under undue pressure by Alastair Campbell and Tom Baldwin of People's Vote not to run, and he said "not really".

The People's Vote insisted "a potential candidate for the Peterborough by-election decided not to stand for their own reasons".