Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage has proposed forging an alliance with Tory PM hopeful Boris Johnson to ensure that the UK government delivers a no-deal Brexit.
Mr Johnny Leavesley, head of the Midlands Industrial Council, which is the Tory party’s largest donor, urged the next prime minister to work alongside Mr Farage.
Mr Farage has urged Mr Johnson to call a general election if Commons attempted to block a hard Brexit, stating he would win a “thumping majority”.
— Back Boris (@BackBoris) June 16, 2019
Mr Farage said: “If he was prepared to do that, of course I'd want to work with them, of course I'd do that.
But some Tory MPs have resisted challenging the rising Brexit Party, stating that it would be disastrous to do so whilst the UK remained in the EU.
Mr Farage urged Mr Johnson at a Daily Telegraph event to have “guts” to face defeat in Commons and then force a no-deal Brexit.
“If he is prepared to be voted down and go to a general election on that ticket then with the support of people like me he would win a massive, thumping majority,” Mr Farage told his audience, adding that if he was prepared to do that, then he would “want to work with them, of course I'd do that.”
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) June 18, 2019
“I'll work with the devil if they're committed to getting us a genuine Brexit,” Mr Farage said.
Mr Farage also said that Mr Johnson was an “entertaining” figure with “charisma, humour and humanity.”
“He's flawed, and I'm very attracted to people like that,” he joked.
If successful, the deal would help the Brexit Party strike a compromise by agreeing not to challenge Conservative candidates backing a hard Brexit, in exchange for Conservatives backing the Brexit Party in Labour-held constituencies.
Whilst Mr Farage quit left the Conservative party in 1992, he said that leadership candidates failed to see that the Tories would be “finished” if they failed to deliver a no-deal Brexit by 31 October.
— Dominic Raab (@DominicRaab) June 17, 2019
Mr Johnson, the former foreign secretary to outgoing Prime Minister, Theresa May, is leading in polls after being backed by 126 MPs and winning the first and second rounds of voting, with UK foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt reaching second place. Mr Johnson said on Tuesday as quoted by Reuters that the UK would face a “catastrophic loss in politics” if Britain failed to leave the EU, adding that unless the UK delivered Brexit by 31 October that the UK would “start to pay a really serious price”. Former Brexit secretary Dominic Rabb was knocked out of the second round of ballots on Tuesday, leaving Mr Johnson, Jeremy Hunt, Rory Stewart, Sajid Javid and Michael Gove in the third round of elimination. Following his loss, Mr Raab backed Boris Johnson as the next Tory PM.