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Brexit Party rejects tactical voting pact with Conservatives

SeattlePI.com Thursday, 14 November 2019 ()
LONDON (AP) — Britain’s Brexit Party has rejected an electoral pact with the ruling Conservatives, saying it will field 300 candidates in next month's election to force Prime Minister Boris Johnson to deliver on promises of a clean break with the European Union.

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage said Thursday the party had to contest the seats to keep pressure on Johnson, rebuffing Conservative arguments that doing so risks splitting the pro-Brexit vote and helping parties that want to remain in the EU. His comments came on the final day for candidates to register for the Dec. 12 election.

"What we've got so far in this campaign is for Boris to promise to change direction, what we now have to do is to hold him to account to make sure we get a proper Brexit, and that's my job,” Farage said.

Britain is holding a national election on Dec. 12 because Johnson wants to security a majority so he can take the U.K. out of the bloc by the next Brexit deadline of Jan. 31. All 650 seats in the House of Commons are up for grabs.

Johnson has reached a Brexit deal with the EU but has not persuaded enough British lawmakers to pass it. The single-issue Brexit Party, meanwhile, prefers to leave the EU without a deal.

The Brexit Party earlier this week agreed not to run candidates 317 parliamentary seats currently held by Conservative lawmakers after Johnson pledged there would be no further extension of the Brexit deadline. But the Daily Telegraph reported Thursday that Farage rejected a last-minute strategic offer from the Conservatives to only put up token opposition in 40 key seats if the Brexit Party would stand aside in other constituencies.

Currently the Conservatives have 298 seats and the opposition Labour Party has 243. Analysts say to get a majority the Conservatives...
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News video: Election 2019: November 11 round-up

Election 2019: November 11 round-up 01:41

A look at the Monday highlights from the various General Election campaign trails. Nigel Farage announces that the Brexit Party will not stand in seats won by Tories in 2017 and the Lib Dems launch legal action against ITV.

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SeattlePI.com Also reported by •Seattle Times

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