A Brexit Party candidate has said he will not contest the Dundee East seat, urging people in the constituency to “back Boris and vote for the Tories” in December’s general election.
Calum Walker made the announcement on Twitter earlier today – however, the decision is at odds with party leader Nigel Farage’s previous stance against pro-Brexit parties splitting the vote in constituencies.
Mr Farage threw down a challenge to Boris Johnson insisting that if the prime minister does not drop his EU Withdrawal Agreement and form a “Leave alliance” the Brexit Party will field a candidate in every seat in Britain.
However, Mr Walker’s announcement today on Twitter said that both a Brexit Party and Conservative candidate standing in Dundee East would “run the risk of allowing Labour propped up by the SNP into government”.
He said on the social media site: “I will not be representing The Brexit Party in Dundee East. Having The Brexit Party stand against the Conservatives will only split the Brexit vote. This runs the risk of allowing Labour propped up by the SNP into government. We should all back Boris and vote for @ScotTories”
I will not be representing The Brexit Party in Dundee East. Having The Brexit Party stand against the Conservatives will only split the Brexit vote. This runs the risk of allowing Labour propped up by the SNP into government. We should all back Boris and vote for @ScotTories
— Calum Walker (@cdawalker) November 5, 2019
In August, Mr Walker was announced as the prospective parliamentary candidate for Dundee East.
However, Danyaal Raja, the Brexit Party’s prospective candidate for Glasgow South, suggested that Mr Walker would not be standing as he had been deselected by the party.
Marvellous. In reality, Calum won't be standing in Dundee East for the Brexit Party not because he doesn't want to split the vote, but because he was deselected! #NiceTry #ACleanBreakNow https://t.co/2SWV3MYx6f
— Danyaal Raja (@DanyaalRajaBXP) November 5, 2019
Mr Walker had previously been named as a prospective candidate, along with the Liberal Democrat’s Michael Crichton, and the seat’s incumbent MP – former deputy leader of the SNP, Stewart Hosie.
Mr Hosie first became an MP in the constituency in 2005, and has won three further general elections since then.
Other parties including both the Conservatives and Labour have yet to announce who they will have contesting the seat.
Launching the party’s General Election campaign in Westminster on Friday, Mr Farage said that Boris Johnson’s deal did not represent Brexit.
Speaking today at an event in Westminster, Mr Farage dismissed accusations he would split the pro-Brexit vote by running against the Tories, saying Boris Johnson’s deal was “not Brexit”.
He accused the Conservatives of “conceited arrogance” after the Leader of the Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg urged him to step aside and “leave the field”.
However, Mr Farage – who offered to work with Mr Johnson in a “patriotic alliance” if he dropped his deal with Brussels – said the Tory plan was a “sell-out”.
“We won’t split the vote because we will be the only people actually offering Brexit, leaving the European Union and its institutions,” he said.
The Brexit Party leader said that if Mr Johnson did not agree to his terms: “We will contest every single seat in England, Scotland and Wales.”
He added: “I say to Boris Johnson – drop the deal.”
The Brexit Party leader added: “Of course, I’m open and flexible to local exceptions and already we are in communication with a number of MPs who are prepared to renounce the Withdrawal Agreement, to renounce the deal, and they themselves to stand on a ticket of a genuine free trade agreement or leave on WTO terms.
“And of course in those cases where MPs say this, we will view them as our friends and not as our enemies.
“But that is not the real deal. The real deal is a Leave alliance that wins a big majority in Parliament. The real deal is a Leave alliance that delivers a genuine Brexit.”