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Boris Johnson 'wasn't aware' of Farage being offered peerage for Brexit Party backdown

13 November 2019, 22:08 | Updated: 13 November 2019, 22:44

Boris Johnson has refused to deny Nigel Farage was offered a peerage in exchange for his party to back down
Boris Johnson has refused to deny Nigel Farage was offered a peerage in exchange for his party to back down. Picture: PA

By Kate Buck

Boris Johnson has refused to deny Nigel Farage was offered a peerage in exchange for his Brexit Party backing down in the general election.

Mr Farage claimed he was offered a seat in the House of Lords two days before he pulled 317 candidates off the campaign trail.

He only pulled candidates out of constituencies won by the Conservatives in the 2017 election, over fears his Brexit Party could split the vote.

Instead, he vowed to instead target Labour-held areas in a bid to ensure Britain leaves the EU at the end of January.

When asked by LBC News if ther offer was "buying him off", the prime minister said he "wasn't aware" of any deal being made.

"All I will say is we don't do deals in the Conservative Party with any other party," he added.

Mr Johnson claims he had no knowledge of a deal being made
Mr Johnson claims he had no knowledge of a deal being made. Picture: PA

"I do understand what a big thing it is for the Brexit Party not to stand in loads of seats but I've just got to repeat my message.

"The only way to get Brexit done, the only way to get this over the line and avoid chaos next year with more referendums on the EU, is to go with us."

When pressed again if he was denying Mr Farage's claim, Mr Johnson again skirted around the question.

He said: "I'm not aware of any such proposal being offered to anybody, let's be absolutely clear about that.

"I've been clear throughout, since I have been prime minister when this question has come up that we don't do deals. [The party] has been around for 200 years, we believe in fighting for every seat."

Nigel Farage said he would deny any peerage or knighthood which was offered to him
Nigel Farage said he would deny any peerage or knighthood which was offered to him. Picture: PA

Mr Johnson then repeated what he said was his "key message" - that if Britain wishes to avoid "uncertainty" they should back the Conservatives.

Speaking at the time he claimed he was offered a peerage, Mr Farage told The Mirror: "I have asked for nothing, I don't want anything."

"Ridiculous – the thought they can buy me, a high-paid job; but I'm not interested, I don't want to know.”

He also insisted he would turn a knighthood or peerage down - should he be offered one.

Mr Johnson said the Tory Party welcomed the "recognition that another gridlocked hung Parliament is the greatest threat to getting Brexit done".

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