DUMPED Brexit Party candidate Martin Potter has warned Britain’s exit from the European Union could be ‘hijacked, delayed and changed in direction’ should remain-voting Conservative MPs win in December’s General Election.
The party’s choice to fight Worcester at the December 12 poll was one of more than 300 Brexit Party candidates controversially stood down by leader Nigel Farage in favour of targeting Labour-held seats.
Speaking to the Observer this week Mr Potter said he understood the decision to put the country before party and avoid splitting the leave vote but said it was unfortunate it had to be applied across the board, setting aside constituencies where the Brexit Party could have a real chance of winning the seat.
“There are still more then 100 Conservative MPs from the last parliament who voted to remain in the 2016 referendum,” he said.
“If they were all to be re-elected, the next parliament will again, at heart, be a Remainer parliament, allowing the tortuous transition process to continue, regardless of the assurances Boris Johnson has tried to provide.
“I regret electors may not now have the opportunity to vote for a candidate who actually believes in Brexit,” Mr Potter added.
The 53-year-old paid tribute to supporters locally and revealed more than 12,000 households had already received leaflets from the party in anticipation of the pre-Christmas poll.
In response, Conservative candidate Robin Walker said the initial decision to field Brexit Party candidates was a ‘mistake’ and claimed the party risked being the ‘hand-maidens to a second referendum’.
“It’s clear we can now deliver Brexit, we can do it with a deal that addresses people’s concerns and we should get on and do it,” he said.
“I’ve a record of voting to leave with deal, I campaigned to remain in the referendum I make no bones about that but from day one afterwards I have rolled up my sleeves and said we have got to get this done.”
Green Party candidate Louis Stephen said: “This toxic deal confirms what we all knew, the Conservatives have shifted massively from what they used to say and pretend about being pro-business and one-nation Tories.
“The Green Party are the only party committed to letting people have the final say in a People’s Vote and then campaigning unambiguously for Remain,” he added.
Liberal Democrats challenger Stephen Kearney slammed Mr Farage’s decision and claimed it showed the Conservatives and the Brexit party were now ‘one and the same’.
“Johnson’s hard right Brexit takeover of the Tory party has now been endorsed by both Trump and Farage,” he said.
“I was so concerned when Robin Walker went from campaigning against leaving the EU to becoming a junior Brexit Minister when he was an MP. He exemplifies the fact the one nation Tory Party have shifted to the far right.”
Labour’s Lynn Denham said: “I have a lot of sympathy for Mr Potter who has printed leaflets and got out on the campaign trail.
“Democracy is about choice and while there is now a reduced choice for Worcester voters I will continue to camp for real change and the issues that matter to voters.”