No Brexit Party candidates to stand in North Northants
The North Northamptonshire pro-Brexit vote won’t be going to the Brexit Party at next month’s general election after the political group today said it won’t be putting up candidates in places won by the Tories at the last election.
Leader Nigel Farage has announced at a rally in Hartlepool that instead of fielding 600 candidates as earlier promised, the fledgling political party will instead only be battling in places that are Labour strongholds.
This means that none seven of Northamptonshire’s seats will be contested by the party.
The move will undoubtedly be welcomed by the Conservatives and could have an impact on the outcome in Labour marginal seats such as Corby, where winner last time Tom Pursglove had a majority of 2,690 votes.
The Labour Party has not declared a position of leave or remain for Brexit and instead has said it will put the decision back to the people with a second vote.
Labour candidate for Corby and East Northamptonshire Beth Miller said: “For me this just shows that there has been a deal between Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage.
“I think the election will be about both Brexit and austerity, as this is what I am hearing on the doorstep.
“Whatever happens Brexit is going to be resolved within the next six months but the party people vote for could be in power for the next four and a half years.
“What I’m saying to people is that half the country wants remain and half wants to leave. The Lib Democrats are ignoring the leavers. Labour is the only party trying to bring people together.”
Beth Miller herself voted to remain but says she does not want to be defined by her Brexit stance as it is ‘not helpful’ in the current climate.
The three Conservative candidates for North Northamptonshire seats Philip Hollobone, Peter Bone and Tom Pursglove are all ardent Brexiters and so the electorate will be clear on their EU stance.
Mr Hollobone had a majority of 10,562 in the 2017 election and Mr Bone gained 12,460 more votes than his nearest rival in Wellingoorough.
The Brexit Party, which was formed in January this year in response to the parliamentary Brexit impasse, did well in the European elections earlier this year, doing best in the East Midlands region where it took three of the five seats.