Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 12 November 2019

UK PM rejects calls for Brexit party Tory alliance despite Trump's intervention

Nigel Farage launched his party’s election campaign on Friday

Nigel Farage renewed calls for a Brexit party-Conservative pact after Donald Trump waded into the Brexit debate on Thursday. Reuters
Nigel Farage renewed calls for a Brexit party-Conservative pact after Donald Trump waded into the Brexit debate on Thursday. Reuters

UK prime minister Boris Johnson has rejected calls from the leader of the Brexit party for a pact after US President Donald Trump criticised his Brexit deal.

On his radio show on LBC, Nigel Farage, the leader of the Brexit Party, restated his suggestion for a Conservative alliance.

But hours later Mr Johnson said: "If I may respectfully say to all our friends around the world ... the only way to get this thing done is to vote for us.

"If you vote for any other party, the risk is you'll just get Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour Party, dither and delay."

Mr Farage had suggested the Brexit Party could be selective about where to stand candidates to avoid splitting the pro-leave vote.

But on Friday Robert Jenrick, the Conservative housing secretary, said that the Tories weren’t interested in forming a pact with the Brexit party.

Speaking on the BBC Today show on Friday, Mr Jenrick said: “We are not interested in doing any pacts with the Brexit party, or, indeed with anybody else. We are in this to win it.”

The Conservatives have a history of rejecting calls for an alliance with the Brexit party. In September, a Conservative source told journalists that Mr Farage and his close ally Arron Banks were not “fit and proper persons”, adding that they shouldn’t be allowed to govern.

Donald Trump waded into the discussion on Thursday, when he said Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn would be “so bad” as UK prime minister and criticised Mr Johnson’s deal, saying it could harm the chances of being able to secure a trade deal with the United States.

The US President also said that Mr Johnson and Mr Farage should “get together” to create “an unstoppable force”.

But his intervention may actually be a boost Mr Johnson’s rivals, as polls reveal that Brits mainly hold a negative view of Mr Trump.

Mr Corbyn hit back at Mr Trump’s claims and said only a Labour government could prevent US companies getting their “hands” on the UK’s National Health System.

“Donald Trump is trying to interfere in Britain’s election to get his friend Boris Johnson elected,” Mr Corbyn wrote on Twitter.

On Friday, survey from Conservative Home revealed that over half of the Tory party members agree with Mr Trump and want a Conservative-Brexit party pact.

Around 51 per cent of party members agreed that the Conservative leader should form an alliance and approximately 42 per cent disagreed. The other 7 per cent abstained.

Updated: November 1, 2019 10:34 PM

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