Nigel Farage says he stopped hung parliament but Michael Gove hits back in fiery exchange

Ewan Somerville
Nigel Farage insisted the Brexit Party's actions in the campaign proved decisive: REUTERS

Nigel Farage has claimed his decision to stand down candidates in Tory-held seats stopped a hung Parliament.

The Brexit Party leader said the removal of 317 representatives to assist Boris Johnson in battleground seats proved decisive.

But Michael Gove hit back in a fiery exchange on Radio 4, saying: "I wouldn't expect anybody in the Conservative Party to thank anybody. They only think about themselves."

Mr Farage was reacting to the exit poll released at 10pm, tipping the Tories for a landslide majority of 86 and predicting that the Brexit Party will have zero MPs.

"I can tell you that if we had stood in every seat in the country it would have been a hung parliament," he said.

 

"That would have been a disaster ... I think the Liberal Democrats would have won an awful lot of seats."

Mr Farage made the humiliating U-turn on his vow to fight all 600 seats across the country in only the second week of the election campaign.

It followed the prime minister's outright refusal to consider entering into coalition with the Brexit Party in a hung parliament situation.

The controversial pro-Leave campaigner said at the time that contesting the seats would risk Brexit, a shift from his earlier plan to force the Conservatives further to the Right and a no-deal EU exit.

On Mr Johnson's Brexit deal, Mr Farage told BBC News tonight: "If the current treaty on the table with the political declaration passes unamended I can't bring myself to support it.

"Look, I've spent my political career trying to get Brexit, alright. We're going to get Brexit. Are we going to get the right one? Maybe not."

He later tweeted: "This victory for Boris was hugely helped by us and is far better than the Marxist Corbyn and a second referendum."

Mr Farage's effort on the campaign trail suffered an unprecedented blow days before polling day when three MEPs quit to back the Tories.