Prominent Brexit Party MEP Rupert Lowe revealed he will not contest Dudley North as the 4pm deadline for General Election candidate nominations passed.
The former Southampton FC chairman’s decision comes on the eve of a visit to the town by party leader Nigel Farage, who had been expected to lend Mr Lowe his backing.
Mr Lowe was elected as one of three West Midlands Brexit Party MEPs earlier this year as the party won more than 500,000 votes across the region.
He tweeted: “I am putting country before party as it is highly conceivable my candidacy could allow Corbyn’s Momentum candidate to win.
“They are simply not fit to govern.”
In a post on his social media platforms coinciding with the 4pm deadline, Mr Lowe added: “I believe that if the Labour Party were to be elected in the forthcoming election Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell with Momentum behind them will devastate Britain and destroy all that decent people have achieved through their hard work and enterprise.
“They are simply not fit to govern and Momentum is the most sinister development in recent British politics, mirroring the beginnings of the Communist Party in the USSR.”
In a message addressed at local voters, Mr Lowe said: “I would like to say a big thank you to the people of Dudley North.
“Unlike many other areas of the Southern metropolitan elite, they still have a proud, traditional, cohesive local community which they should cherish and protect.”
Then-Labour MP Ian Austin triumphed over the Tories in Dudley North in the 2017 General Election by a margin of just 22 votes.