Brexit Party candidates are being subjected to “Venezuelan style” intimidation by the Conservative Party, Nigel Farage has claimed.
Mr Farage said: “What we’re seeing is the most incredible, aggressive intimidation of our candidates.”
He said that candidates for the party were putting themselves up to demonstrate that this is a “free and fair” democracy.
“Yet there are people who are effectively being denied that right because they are being intimidated, and told they mustn’t stand because if they do the next four weeks will be hell. It’s disgraceful, he added.
It comes after the ex-UKIP leader said he would stand down candidates in 317 seats the Conservatives won at the last general election in order to not split the Brexit vote.
Speaking in Hull, where the party unveiled candidates including ex-Apprentice contestant Michelle Dewberry, Mr Farage apologisef for asking voters to back the Tories but said he has done “what was right for the country”.
Mr Farage has come under pressure to stand down in even more seats, but the Brexit Party leader was defiant and said he would not be stand down any more candidates to ease Boris Johnson ’s path to No10.
Asked if trusted Mr Johnson to stick to his word on Brexit, Mr Farage said he did not.
If left to his own devices he said Mr Johnson would deliver “Brexit in name only.”
Mr Farage added that he thought that the Tories would be grateful after he withdrew candidates in 317 seats the Conservatives won in the last election, but said that Mr Johnson’s party had shown “a refusal on their part to give an inch” since the announcement.
Mr Farage apologised to Brexit Party voters for asking them to vote Conservative – as he confirmed that he himself would not.
He said: “I know they wanted to vote for the Brexit Party, and the interesting thing is, because of the way the Conservatives have behaved, a lot of them are telling me they’re just going to turn up at the ballot box and write Brexit Party on the piece of paper.”
Mr Farage said that Tories could have “used my gesture, showed some reciprocity and they would have got some good will from the Brexit Party supporters in those seats and they haven’t done that”.
Asked if he feared splitting the Leave vote, Mr Farage said: “I’m very worried about the Leave vote being split, very, very worried about these constituencies that have been Labour for decades, where the Conservatives have never won, can never win, and yet they are still putting up a candidate against our candidates who are the challengers to Labour in those seats.
“It tells me all I need to know about the Conservative Party. All they care about is the party, not getting a Leave majority in Westminster.”