Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Nigel Farage: Boris Johnson must change course on Brexit

Nigel Farage on day one of the Brexit Party election campaign. Credit: PA

Nigel Farage has urged Boris Johnson to “change course” after the Prime Minister dismissed the idea of a pact with the Brexit Party leader.

Mr Farage, who donned a pair of boxing gloves and pretended to punch cameras on a visit to Bolsover Boxing Club in Derbyshire, said he and his party would “stand for Brexit if (Boris Johnson) doesn’t really want to”.

The party leader went on to say he said he would not stand in this election in order to help potential candidates get elected.

Speaking to ITV News Correspondent Angus Walker, the leader said only the Brexit Party "genuinely believes in leaving the EU" and denied there was any intention to split the Conservative Party vote.

The leader said his party was able to offer choice for potential voters promising the UK's departure from the European Union.

He said: “Those who want a clean-break Brexit, and that’s what 17.4 million people said, the vote to leave was to leave the EU, not to stay trapped to it."

Sorry, this content isn't available on your device.

Asked if the party would stand in the proposed 600 seats now the Prime Minister has said a pact is off the table, Mr Farage said: “Look, perhaps he doesn’t want a pact because he wants to continue with his EU treaty.

“He wants us to be half in, half out, and go straight into three more years of expensive negotiations where we are tied in every way.

Mr Farage went on to ask Boris Johnson to rethink his stance, saying: “I would urge the Prime Minister to change course. He did what he could in a very difficult situation he inherited.

“It’s a very Remain Parliament, the General Election is a chance to press the reset button. At the moment he has chosen not to. If that’s the case, I will stand for Brexit if he doesn’t really want to.”

Nigel Farage kicked off the campaign trail at the Bolsover Boxing Club. Credit: PA

The Brexit Party leader dismissed the idea that he could become the reason Brexit is prevented, he said:“Well, number one, as things stand, we are the only people offering Brexit because Boris’s deal is not Brexit.

“Secondly, it is completely misunderstood… that when I last did this in 2015, and led Ukip, I was asked the same question.

“‘Oh you’ll split the Tory vote’. No. It was the Labour vote we hurt and if you look at my schedule this week and where I’m going, I think the five million Labour leavers are the most likely people to vote for the Brexit Party – that is our key target audience.

“So our effect overall on the election is probably quite neutral, because a lot of Labour people are going to vote for us.”

Nigel Farage thinks he will help candidates get over the line by not standing. Credit: PA

Commenting on the number of seats the Brexit Party would gain from Labour, Mr Farage said: “My aspiration is we get a number. A good number of Brexit Party MPs in the House of Commons making sure that Brexit is held on track and the next government is called out.

“That’s why I’ve decided not to stand myself. I want to traverse the length and breadth of this country. This is just the start.

“I think my presence, coming round and helping these candidates, I just hope it gets more of them over the line.”

Calling Peston: The ITV News Election Podcast

In a new daily podcast, Calling Peston will bring you up to speed with everything you need to know about the 2019 General Election, with a new episode released every weekday afternoon at 5pm.

ITV News Political Reporters Daniel Hewitt and Shehab Khan will chat through the day's developments - and call Political Editor Robert Peston to get his take on it all. We'll also take you behind the scenes of life reporting on the election campaign trail, hearing from our reporters on the road across the country.

Our first episode will be out on Wednesday November 6 - listen below for a taste of what to expect.

Download Calling Peston from wherever you get your podcasts.

Sorry, this content isn't available on your device.