London: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson offered a last-minute electoral pact for the December 12 general election to Nigel Farage vowing to ditch 40 Labour-held seats to the latter’s Brexit Party if they stood down elsewhere, but the deal was rebuffed, it was reported.
Under the proposal, the ruling Conservatives would have put up “paper candidates” in dozens of Labour strongholds and done little campaigning in an attempt to give the Brexit Party a free run, the Daily Mail reported on Thursday citing the Telegraph as saying.
But the deal was turned down by Farage, who insisted on the Conservatives withdrawing their candidates entirely – so they did not appear on the ballot paper.
Talks finally broke down late on Tuesday but as the deadline for nominations loomed, Farage remains under intense pressure to make further concessions beyond the 317 candidates he has already stood down from running in Conservative seats.
On Wednesday night, a Conservative spokesman appeared to deny the claim saying: “We don’t do electoral pacts, as we have been very clear.”
This week the Brexit Party leader stood down 317 candidates in Conservative-held seats to try and avoid splitting the “Leave” vote and helping Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn win the general election.
The deadline for the candidates to put in their nomination papers will expire at 4 p.m., on Thursday.
The suggestion of an electoral pact between the Conservatives and Brexit Party was first made by Farage in September.
But speaking on the campaign trail on Wednesday, the Prime Minister firmly rejected a pact saying the Conservative Party was the oldest political party in the world and doesn’t do pacts with others, reports the Daily Mail.