Suffolk Coastal Brexit Party hopeful to stand as Independent in 2019 General Election
- Credit: Archant
The candidate chosen by The Brexit Party to stand against Dr Therese Coffey in Suffolk Coastal will still be on the ballot paper – even though the party has pulled out of seats won by the Tories in 2017.
Businessman Tony Love said he was angered by the decision announced by party leader Nigel Farage on Monday - and would still be putting his name forward as an Independent Brexit candidate in the general election on December 12.
He said: "We've already been campaigning hard and we're getting some good reactions from voters - and then we suddenly heard the campaign was being pulled!
"This constituency voted to leave the EU - but all the other candidates voted to Remain in 2016. If I don't stand, who is going to represent those people who want to leave?
"We're hearing about a deal - but a lot of us don't think that is really Brexit. We have a shop in Felixstowe and that has been very popular."
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Mr Love said he would continue to campaign across the constituency - and believed he was the first Brexit Party candidate who had been dropped to confirm that he would stand as an independent.
The decision to pull the Brexit Party candidates from constituencies won by the Tories two years ago has affected almost every seat in Suffolk and Essex - only Ipswich where Labour's Sandy Martin is hoping to be re-elected is still facing a Brexit Party challenge.
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And there is pressure for the Brexit Party to pull out of Labour/Conservative marginal seats like this in a bid to give the Tories a clear run in the election.
In Suffolk Coastal the defending Conservative candidate and cabinet minister Dr Therese Coffey said she was not concerned about Mr Love's decision. She is defending a majority of 16,000 over Labour.
She said: "If he wants to stand, then it's up to him. It really doesn't bother me - we're getting out message out across the constituency.
"What we're hearing people say is that they want us to get on with leaving the EU with a deal - and that is what the government has negotiated. Voters seem to understand that."
The other confirmed candidates in the election in Suffolk Coastal - Labour, the Liberal Democrats and Greens are all in favour of either a second referendum on membership of the EU or revoking Article 50 and remaining in the Union.
Potential candidates have until 4pm on Thursday afternoon to be nominated or withdraw from the election process.