The Brexit Party’s Scottish MEP has stood down as a general election candidate in protest at Nigel Farage’s decision not to contest any Conservative-held seats.
In a major U-turn, Mr Farage announced on Monday that his party would not fight 317 constituencies where the Tories won in 2017 to help Boris Johnson to victory and deliver Brexit.
The Brexit Party leader said he still intended to stand candidates in Labour-Tory marginals, potentially making Conservative gains more difficult, but Mr Farage is understood to have come under further pressure from donors and Brexit supporters to extend the party’s retreat.
Louis Stedman-Bryce, the only elected Brexit Party representative in Scotland, posted on Twitter that he “cannot support” the decision. He said he would not stand in Glasgow North East, where he would have challenged Labour MP Paul Sweeney.
In a series of posts, Mr Stedman-Bryce wrote: “I joined the Brexit Party to change politics for good and uphold democracy and I do not trust Boris Johnson to deliver the type of Brexit I voted for.
“I believe that the deal he has proposed would be devastating to our country and our future prosperity.
“So it is with a heavy heart that I have taken the decision not to run in the upcoming general election.”
Brexit Party spokesman Jack Irvine said: “We’re very surprised at the attitude of Louis Stedman-Bryce. We want to give the Tories a chance to get Brexit done and keep Labour out. Why doesn’t he understand that?”
Robert Wheal – another Brexit Party candidate who was due to fight in the Arundel and South Downs constituency – has branded Mr Farage’s tactical decision not to contest Tory-held seats as a “disgrace to politics”.