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Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage will not stand in general election

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage has ruled out standing as a candidate in the forthcoming general election.

Mr Farage said he had decided he would be better off campaigning across the country rather than having to concentrate his efforts on one particular constituency.

Craig Mackinlay won the South Thanet seat over Nigel Farage in 2015
Craig Mackinlay won the South Thanet seat over Nigel Farage in 2015

He last stood for a Parliamentary seat in 2015 when he made an ill-fated attempt to become the South Thanet MP but was narrowly defeated by the Conservative Craig Mackinlay.

Speaking this morning on the Andrew Marr show on BBC One, he said: “I have thought very hard about this. How do I serve the cause of Brexit best? Do I find a seat or do I serve the cause by traversing the length and breadth of the United Kingdom supporting 600 candidates?

"I have decided the latter course is the better one. It is very difficult to do a constituency on a daily basis and at the same time be across the country.”

His decision puts an end to speculation that he might have been eyeing up a return to Kent, something he had not ruled out when he was in the county for a Brexit party rally at the Detling Showground near Maidstone last month.

His decision comes amid reports that there are divisions within the Brexit party concerning whether to field candidates in nearly all the seats in the country or focus on a select few.

KMTV reports on the Brexit Party's election strategy

Mr Farage led the party to success in the recent European Union elections, returning four MEPs - including himself - in the south east region.

Mr Farage said at the party’s campaign launch on Friday that unless Boris Johnson agreed to an election pact with his party, he would field candidates in all seats.

There had been reports the party might stand down candidates in seats where the Brexit party might take away votes from the Conservative candidate and risk allowing remain supporting candidates from other parties to win.

These included Canterbury, which is being targeted by the Conservatives as Labour has one of the smallest majorities in the country.

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