“Nigel Farage’s decision to unilaterally stand down more than half the Brexit party’s candidates has prompted fury from some of the hopefuls, with one candidate saying he only learned the news when a passing driver asked him why he was still campaigning.
Darren Selkus, who was the candidate for Epping Forest, said Farage had “betrayed my incredible volunteers and thousands of constituents who will have no one to vote for” by pulling out of all 317 Conservative-held seats.
In a statement on his local party website, Selkus said that as soon as Farage made the announcement at a rally on Monday in Hartlepool, he and other ex-candidates were immediately locked out of their Brexit party emails and supporter databases.
While a majority of the former candidates who took to social media to express opinions seemed to back Farage’s argument that the move was necessary to protect Brexit, a small but vocal group complained about the move.
Julian Malins, a barrister who was due to stand in the Tory-held seat of Salisbury, tweeted: “I thought I had enlisted in Caesar’s army but it turned out to be the Grand Old Duke of York’s.”
Although it is a registered party, the Brexit party is structured as a company, with Farage and the party chair, Richard Tice, having near-total control. Those who have paid the party’s £25 joining fee become “registered supporters” rather than members, with no say over policy or other matters. …”