General election: The Brexit Party won’t contest North Devon and Torridge seats
- Credit: PA
The Brexit Party will not stand against the Conservatives in North Devon and Torridge in the General Election.
Party leader Nigel Farage announced on Monday, November 11 that his party would not stand in the 317 seats won by the Conservatives in the 2017 election.
Dawn Westcott, TBP prospective parliamentary candidate for North Devon, immediately announced she would be standing down.
She said: "It's always been my aim and intention to do the best I can for democracy, for the country, for Brexit and for North Devon. I believe this is also the intention of the Brexit Party.
"So I completely respect Nigel Farage's decision to stand down candidates where he feels it is best, in the interests of achieving Brexit and for the country, going forwards."
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It is understood North Devon Conservatives will be choosing their new PPC this evening, which follows the decision of former MP Peter Heaton-Jones not to stand.
Speaking to supporters in Hartlepool, Mr Farage had earlier said he had taken the decision because he feared a hung parliament with significant gains for the Liberal Democrats if he didn't.
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"We've decided ourselves that we absolutely have to put country before party and take the fight to Labour," Mr Farage said.
His offer of a 'leave alliance' electoral pact with the Conservatives was rejected by them.
But Mr Farage said he had been encouraged by statements by Boris Johnson at the weekend saying he would not extend the planned transition period beyond the end of 2020 and that he would seek a 'super Canada plus' style free trade agreement with the EU.
Mr Farage said: "Last night I weighed up Boris' promises, and is he going to stick to them against the threat particularly in the South and the South West that we let in a lot of remainer Liberal Democrat MPs?
"I think our action, this announcement today, prevents a second referendum from happening.
"And that to me, I think right now, is the single most important thing in our country.
"So in a sense we now have a Leave alliance, it's just that we've done it unilaterally."
North Devon's Liberal Democrat PPC Alex White said: "Nigel Farage's comments show he is running scared of the Liberal Democrats in areas like North Devon. He knows that we are the only party at this election that can take seats like North Devon back from the Conservatives as they continue to pursue a deeply damaging Brexit.
"We already know that North Devon does not get a fair deal. Another Conservative MP in North Devon, with their harmful deal, is not going to change that.
"Voters in North Devon have the opportunity at this election to choose the right person - a Liberal Democrat MP - who will fight for our community and build a brighter future for everyone in North Devon."