Brexit Party standing aside to boost Conservatives in Moray
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THE Brexit Party will not be standing a candidate in Moray as the party aims to help the Conservative vote UK-wide.
Nigel Farage, the Brexit Party leader, today announced his party will stand aside in the 317 seats won by the Tories in 2017, which includes Moray and 12 other Scottish seats. Instead, the focus will be on taking seats from Labour.
Les Durance, who was in line to be the Brexit Party's candidate in Moray, will now stand in Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey.
He told the Northern Scot: "I'm disappointed not to stand in Moray but understand where Nigel Farage is coming from. It is for the good of the country and he has put country before party.
"It's a great gesture of compromise. It's up to my voters now to decide who they want to vote for instead, but I imagine it will be Douglas Ross.
"It's not the Brexit we wanted and Douglas is not necessarily in favour of no deal but he will probably toe the party line.
"The other options are pretty much remain options and people who want to get rid of article 50."
Douglas Ross, standing for re-election with a majority of 4159, said: "I'm out campaigning in Moray for every single vote and it's up for other parties to decide whether to stand or not.
"It's very clear if people support me in this election I will continue to champion local issues and a Conservative majority government would end the uncertainty and get Brexit delivered.
"Supporting any other party will help Nicola Sturgeon in her efforts to have a second independence referendum and separate Scotland from the rest of the United Kingdom.
"If opposition parties are unhappy (with the Brexit Party standing aside) they have to look at what the Green Party are doing supporting the SNP across Scotland."
Laura Mitchell, the SNP's candidate for Moray, could be given a boost by the Greens not standing in Moray – although in the European elections the Greens polled at seven per cent compared to the Brexit Party's 21 per cent.
This morning she thanked Green supporters for lending her their vote, and said help provided to the Conservatives by the Brexit Party shows how right-wing the Tories have become.
She said: "Nigel Farage's decision to give Boris Johnson's Tory candidate in Moray a free run shows just how extreme the Conservative Party has become and I suspect that many local traditional Conservative voters will be appalled.
"They've moved so far to the right that Nigel Farage is happy to help Boris Johnson back into number 10 - this is all the more reason vote the Tories out on December 12.
"There is only one way to stop Boris and his Tory candidate here in Moray, and that is to vote SNP."
Labour's candidate in Moray, Jo Kirby, also said the Tories were lurching towards the far-right and said Labour is the only option to save the National Health Service.
She said: "If I was Douglas Ross I would be embarrassed by an endorsement from Donald Trump's pal Nigel Farage, who makes no secret of the fact that he wants to sell-off the NHS.
"In just three years the Tories have gone from David Cameron's ‘modern, compassionate Conservatives’ to being a far-right fringe group. Only a Labour government can protect the NHS from being sold off to Donald Trump."
The Liberal Democrats are yet to announce who will be standing for them. The deadline for nomination is Thursday, November 14, at 4pm.
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