Farage says he won't challenge Johnson's Conservatives in United Kingdom elections

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The Brexit Party leader told a rally in Hartlepool, northeastern England, that it had been a hard decision to stand down candidates in the 317 seats the Tories won at the last election in 2017 - but he had been reassured by Mr Johnson's plans for a sharper split with the European Union.

With a smaller field to worry about in those Tory held, Remain alliance seats, those parties campaigning on a strong anti-Brexit message can now use a clear attack on Conservative candidates - whoever they are.

"The Brexit Party will not contest the 317 seats the Conservatives won at the last election", Farage said.

"Labour has done nothing for this town", said Pat Stamper, 81, a recent convert to the Brexit Party set up by populist eurosceptic Nigel Farage.

Writing in The Telegraph, the Brexit Party leader insisted they would still stand in Labour seats on 12 December.

Farage will still run in seats held by the opposition Labour Party, opening up the possibility he could yet be a kingmaker with just a few seats in a hung Parliament.

Neil Greaves said the Brexit Party leader had been "outmanoeuvred" and encouraged his fellow candidates to follow his example.

But it is risky for the man who claims to put the higher objective of Brexit above his own political ambition to be seen as the person standing in the way of the United Kingdom leaving the EU.

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Elsewhere, a Brexit Party candidate due to stand in Hendon, north-west London, has been moved to fight Jeremy Corbyn's Islington North constituency.

He also said by winning those seats, the Brexit Party would ensure Parliament had a majority of MPs in favour of leaving the EU. Plus, Johnson has more experience in office and is, frankly, more famous and popular than Farage. They felt that if his party fielded a full slate of candidates, the Brexit vote would be diluted, parties supporting a second referendum could sneak past, and Brexit could be lost.

The decision came after Mr Johnson made a public pledge that the Brexit transition period will not be extended beyond the end of 2020 - and that he would negotiate a Canada-style free trade deal with the EU.

He added: "All that Farage has exposed is his duplicity to so many supporters who had put their faith in him".

"Farage hasn't even got a deal". And, if the assumption that in the absence of a Brexit party, or of UKIP, supporters will tend to vote Conservative holds, then this is both good and bad news for the Tories.

'Now if they believed in Leave what they would do is stand aside in some seats in Labour areas where the Conservative Party has not won for 100 years and will never win.

Chris Curtis, head of political research at pollsters YouGov, said: "It is still the case that most marginal seats are Labour-Conservative battles and this is the most important dynamic in deciding who will be celebrating Christmas in 10 Downing Street". If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.

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