Former Brexit Party candidate urges defiance of Nigel Farage's stand-down order

·News Reporter
Aaron Hudson is running in the general election in defiance of Nigel Farage's Brexit Party stand down.
Aaron Hudson is running in the general election in defiance of Nigel Farage's Brexit Party stand down.

A Brexit Party candidate among hundreds told to stand down against Tory-held seats will contest it anyway and has urged others from the group to defy Nigel Farage’s orders.

Aaron Hudson had been due to stand in Stourbridge, West Midlands, before Mr Farage announced his party would not contest 317 seats won by the Tories in 2017.

But Mr Hudson will still stand for Stourbridge as an independent and urged other Brexit Party candidates who were stood-down to follow suit “if they have a Remainer Tory MP”.

He told Yahoo News UK: “Nigel's blanket "stand down in all Tory seats" was a mistake and I think it will also disenfranchise supporters in Labour majorities where the Brexit Party could win.

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage addresses supporters at Ionians RUFC in Hull during General Election campaigning.
Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage told Brexit Party candidates in 317 Tory-held seats

“It's all speculation though.”

Mr Farage’s decision to stand down the candidates came after he was criticised for risking splitting the Leave vote between the Tories and the Brexit Party, potentially allowing opposition parties promoting a second referendum or Remain to gain ground.

Mr Hudson admitted he could split the leave vote in Stourbridge but said the choice boiled to down to what he calls a “clean break Brexit” or the Prime Minister’s “Brexit in name only”.

He added: “I don't think Nigel will be bothered.

“End of the day his strategy was national and I think it wasn't very well thought out because he has stood down candidates in constituencies with Remain Tory MPs and left candidates in Leave Labour MP constituencies.

“He's also left candidates in place where the Labour majority was marginal and where the Tories could have won.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the unveiling of the Conservative Party battlebus in Middleton, Greater Manchester. PA Photo. Picture date: Friday November 15, 2019. See PA story POLITICS Election. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
Boris Johnson is hoping to hold off the threat of the Brexit Party splitting the Leave vote with the Tories. (Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire)

Although his election rival from the Tories, Suzanne Webb, will run on a platform to back Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal, Mr Hudson doesn’t view her as a true Brexiteer because she voted Remain in the 2016 referendum.

Ms Webb, a Birmingham councillor, has told the Worcester News that she has “campaigned vigorously as a Brexiteer”.

Mr Hudson said he had pleaded with Brexit Party HQ to stand as the party’s candidate in Stourbridge to no avail.

He added that he declined an offer to stand in ex-Labour deputy leader Tom Watson’s former constituency, West Bromwich East, for the party but refused it because he wanted to stand in his home town.

“I've also had an overwhelming response when part of the Brexit Party which has already shifted across to me as an independent,” Mr Hudson said.

He could not put a figure on how many people he believed would cross over, but expects his roughly 150 registered supporters to cross over.

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