THE Brexit Party, led by Nigel Farage, announced on Monday that it will not be standing candidates in the 317 seats won by the Conservatives at the 2017 general election.
Party leader Farage said standing candidates across the country could increase the chances of another EU referendum taking place.
But he said the party would stand against all other parties – and focus on taking seats off Labour.
He had previously pledged to field more than 600 election candidates.
He said Boris Johnson’s commitment to strike a trade deal with the EU without ‘regulatory alignment’ was a ‘huge change’ in the Conservatives’ approach to Brexit.
PM Johnson welcomed the move, calling it ‘a recognition that there’s only one way to get Brexit done, and that’s to vote for the Conservatives’.
Johnson added that his party welcomes the ‘recognition that another gridlocked hung parliament is the greatest threat to getting Brexit done’.
He added: ‘If we have another hung parliament it would lead to two more chaotic referendums next year.’
Tory chair James Cleverly insisted that there was still a ‘danger’ the Brexit Party could split the vote in Tory target seats, leading to the election of MPs who could ‘frustrate the Brexit process’.
Labour Party chair Ian Lavery said the move would create a ‘Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson alliance with Donald Trump to sell out our country.
‘We urge voters to reject this Thatcherite 1980s tribute act, which would lead to more savage Tory attacks on working class communities. Our NHS is not for sale.’
Farage had previously offered to not to stand candidates against the Tories in certain seats if the prime minister changed aspects of his Brexit deal.
But the proposal was rejected by Boris Johnson, who said deals with ‘any other party’ would ‘risk putting Jeremy Corbyn into No 10’.
Anti-Brexit parties Plaid Cymru, the Green Party and the Liberal Democrats have agreed not to stand against each other in 60 seats across England and Wales.
Their pact means that, in Wales, two of the parties will agree not to field a candidate, boosting the third candidate’s chances of picking up the Remain vote.
In England, it will simply be a two-way agreement between the Lib Dems and the Greens.
Scottish National Party leader Nicola Sturgeon said the Conservatives have ‘effectively become the Brexit Party’.
She added that defeating the Tories in Scotland ‘will help deprive Boris Johnson’s increasingly extreme and right-wing party of the majority they crave’.
Meanwhile, Johnson denied he had called Farage to strike a deal, while Labour’s Corbyn called it a ‘Trump alliance’.