'Revenge at the ballot box' - Brexit Party denies anti-EU group founder will stand for them in Great Yarmouth
PUBLISHED: 16:41 01 April 2019 | UPDATED: 16:50 01 April 2019
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The Brexit Party has denied that the founder of anti-Europe campaign group Leave.EU is planning to stand against a Norfolk MP .
The Daily Mail reported on Monday that Arron Banks planned to stand against Brandon Lewis, Great Yarmouth MP and Conservative Party chairman, in the coastal town.
Andy Wigmore, from Leave.EU, said Mr Lewis had asked Nigel Farage not to field a UKIP candidate in the seat in 2015.
But Mr Lewis said the only time he had spoken to Mr Farage was in 2018 so this was “completely untrue”.
However Mr Wigmore said: “Since then [Brandon Lewis] has been one of the architects within government to renege on manifesto pledges to honour the referendum result and as such Leave.EU had been contacted by hundreds of angry Conservative voters who want revenge at the ballot box.
“We believe that fielding Arron in his constituency gives those disappointed with Brandon and the Conservatives an opportunity at the next election - whenever that may be - to have a vote that counts.
“The Tories are going to get punished by their supporters for not honouring a democratic vote - the chairman has to take responsibility for his part in this mess, it’s on his watch.”
However a spokesman for the Brexit Party, which was until recently headed up by Norfolk’s Catherine Blaiklock, said they were not even discussing a general election.
He said: “It is just not the case.
“The Brexit Party is focussing solely on the European elections, so any suggestion of anything else is more than previous.”
Leave.EU had previously campaigned for Mr Lewis, and Mid Norfolk’s George Freeman, to be deselected as they originally supported remaining in the EU.
Since the referendum both changed their positions and in January their respective Conservative Associations backed them as their candidates.
Mr Lewis has been approached for further comment.