MEP Lance Forman quits Brexit Party and urges people to vote Conservative

He is among four who are announcing their departure from Nigel Farage's party at a press conference



A Jewish MEP is among four who are quitting the Brexit Party and urging voters to support the Conservatives in the general election.

Lance Forman, the owner of the H Forman and Son salmon smokehouse, will hold a press conference to announce his resignation on Thursday morning, alongside Lucy Harris, John Longworth and Annunziata Rees-Mogg, sister of House of Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg.

Mr Forman said: “I’ve come to the conclusion that the Brexit Party strategy is misguided. It jeopardises the chance to become an independent country.

“The Tories could have been more generous to the BP in its role in securing a new leader.

“We risk no Brexit at all. If the consequence is to deny us pro-Brexit MPs in even just a few seats, we could have a new occupier in Number 10.

“The key thing is not the withdrawal deal, but to appoint a new negotiating comprising only those who have a positive vision of Brexit.”

Mr Longworth, a former director of the British Chambers of Commerce, had already been expelled by the Brexit Party for “repeatedly undermining” its election strategy.

The four rebels said they made the decision to back the Tories “in order to get Brexit done”.

They will formally announce their resignations during a press conference in Westminster.

The Brexit Party has already stepped aside in 317 Conservative-held seats, announcing the “unilateral” move last month.

Mr Forman was elected to represent London in the European Parliament in May, along with 25 other Brexit Party candidates.

He has previously publicly defended Nigel Farage against accusations of racism and antisemitism, writing in the JC that he “rejects xenophobia”.

Mr Farage said: “Whilst we are disappointed that four of our MEPs don’t seem to understand that we both saved the Conservative Party from large-scale losses to the Liberal Democrats in the south and south-west of England, but we are also hammering the Labour Leave vote in its traditional heartlands, making it much easier for the Conservatives to win many of those seats.

“The only vote on the leave side that is currently being split is in areas such as Barnsley, the South Wales valleys, Doncaster and Hartlepool where there is a risk that the Tories will split our vote.”

A Brexit Party spokesperson said: “We note that one of the MEPs is the sister of a cabinet minister, another has a partner who works in the office of the same cabinet minister and yet another is a personal friend of both Boris Johnson and Michael Gove.

“In the case of John Longworth, who was for years the firmest advocate of WTO withdrawal that we have ever met, he underwent a metamorphosis into being a supporter of the new EU treaty following two days of meetings in London.

"We hope that Mr Longworth is well rewarded for his actions.”

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