NIGEL Farage has revealed he could pull campaigners from key marginals to help the Tories – as his party was rocked by the resignation of an MEP.
The Brexit Party leader announced there are “conversations” ongoing between the two parties on a local level about standing paper candidates in crucial swing seats.
He said he wouldn’t censure any of his parliamentary hopefuls looking to strike a deal with the Tories but that he “can’t manage” the process himself.
Mr Farage said: “This is an election in which there are Remain deals being done and Brexit deals being done at local level – its not particularly surprising.
“Im aware of some areas in which we may be trying very hard and they may not be trying very hard and in the neighbouring seat it may be the other way around.”
The Tories denied any pacts were underway.
During a speech in Peterborough he urged Tory supporters in 130 Labour-held seats to “vote tactically” and “lend us your support” to get Brexit done.
Mr Farage said the party had “got a plan” to encourage tactical voting “for areas in which we know we’re the strongest” but didn’t go into details.
He made the remarks minutes after Louis Stedman-Bryce walked out over the selection of a candidate who shared homophobic posts on social media.
The Scottish MEP said picking Victor Robert Farrell to fight Glenrothes put his “personal values in direct conflict with those of the party”.
Brexit Party sources pointed out it withdrew support for the candidate on Monday night – before Mr Stedman-Bryce announced his resignation.
And they said the real reason he quit was because he didn’t want Mr Farage to stand any candidates at all in Scotland.
They revealed he had phoned around parliamentary hopefuls on the deadline for nomination papers and persuaded a large number of them to step down.
One said Mr Farrell had only been parachuted in at the eleventh hour, without going through proper vetting, because of the need to “plug the gaps” created.
Mr Farage announced he’s standing 274 candidates in the election, which was “fewer than I wanted”, due to Mr Stedman-Bryce’s campaign.
It also emerged today the Information Commissioner’s Office has launched a probe into the party’s failure to hand over personal data on voters.
People are entitled to ask for what information political parties hold on them – and should usually receive a reply within a month.
Party sources said it had been inundated with requests from left-wing activists during the May euro elections to try and stop it operating.
During a walkabout in Peterborough today Mr Farage was heckled by one member of the public who shouted he was “full of c**p”.
He later visited the Queen’s Head pub in the city centre where he glugged a pint of Brexit-themed ale called Out Out.
Meanwhile one of his candidates – Mitch Feierstein – was milkshaked by a yob in Reading today who shouted “f*** Farage”.
The Brexit Party leader also risked controversy as he attacked Labour’s plan for an “audit” into crimes committed under the Empire.
He said: “I dont think I should apologise for what people did 300 years ago. It was a different world, a different time.
“We seem to be terribly keen apologise for the past and a bit less worried about creating a good future.
“If you compare the British Empire with the Belgian, German, Spanish, Portuguese, we were not even a military empire, we did it on bribery.”
Mr Farage also tore into Prince Andrew over the royal’s botched interview defending his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein.
He said: “Weve all met people in our lives that later on we find out are different than what we thought they were when we first met them.
“It was the fact he didnt show any regret for that or almost any sympathy at all for the people who have been trafficked.”
A Tory source said of the alleged discussions: “Neither the Conservative party, nor its officials have offered Brexit Party candidates jobs or peerages.
“We don’t do electoral pacts – our pact is with the British people.
“The only way to get Brexit done and unleash Britains potential is to vote for your local Conservative candidate, otherwise the country runs the risk of another deadlocked parliament, or even worse a Labour/SNP coalition led by Jeremy Corbyn who would subject Britain to two referendums in 2020.”
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