General election: Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party won’t contest seats won by Tories in 2017

Nigel Farage has stood down more than 300 Brexit Party candidates in seats won by the Conservatives in the 2017 election.

Mr Farage said his party had made the decision based on polling which indicated standing in seats in London, the South and the South West may split the vote of pro-Brexit candidates and allow pro-Remain candidates to win.

Therefore the Brexit Party won’t contest any of the 317 seats won by the Conservatives in the last general election.

Mr Farage made the announcement at a campaign rally in Hartlepool, after taking part in Armistice Day events alongside the party’s chairman and PPC for the seat, Richard Tice.

He acknowledged he had been quiet over the weekend amid speculation of the party’s political strategy.

It comes after one of Mr Farage’s biggest former allies was set to advise voters to back Boris Johnson and not the Brexit Party.

Arron Banks, the millionaire who co-founded Leave.EU and bankrolled UKIP when Mr Farage was at the helm, is to launch a tactical voting app aimed at helping giving Mr Johnson a majority of leave-supporting MPs.

A spokesman for the new app has confirmed a report in The Times that leave voters will be encouraged to vote for the Conservatives in Stoke-on-Trent, not for the Brexit Party.

The advice is the same for all three constituencies in Stoke-on-Trent, where the leave vote was 70% in 2016.

A spokesman for Leave.EU said: “This app is ‘Back Brexit, back Boris’. We will tell Brexiteers the right candidates to back for Brexit.

“If that is against the Brexit Party then so be it. We have to get Boris a majority so we can get Brexit done.”

Mr Banks has warned Mr Farage that the app is likely to make similar recommendations in other seats, as Leave.EU predicts the new party might cost the Conservatives a majority.

The relationship between Mr Farage and Mr Banks was strained since the Brexit Party decision to stand 600 candidates across the UK.

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