LONDON – British euroskeptic politician Nigel Farage was launching his Brexit Party’s election campaign on Friday, a day after U.S. President Donald Trump urged him to make an electoral pact with Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservatives.
Trump barged into the British election campaign on Thursday, telling Farage on the British politician’s radio phone-in show that he and Johnson would be “an unstoppable force.”
Farage’s party was founded earlier this year to push for a hard Brexit. It rejects Johnson’s divorce deal with the European Union and wants to leave the bloc with no agreement on future relations.
Farage, who played a key role in the campaign for Britain to leave the EU in 2016, hasn’t revealed whether his party will contest all 650 House of Commons seats up for grabs, or pick a few where it has a chance of winning.
Running in a small number of seats would help the Conservatives, who are vying with Farage for the support of Brexit-backing voters.
Farage said Friday there was a need for “some kind of Brexit alliance.”
“Some newspapers are suggesting that we will fight vast numbers of seats, others think we will fight as few as 20 seats,” he told radio station LBC. “I run a very tight ship, we don’t leak. I will reveal all later on today.”
Johnson has ruled out an electoral pact with Farage.
“We are not interested in doing any pacts with the Brexit Party or indeed with anybody else,” Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said Friday. “We are in this to win it.”
The prime minister sought this election, which is being held more than two years early, to break the political impasse over Britain’s stalled departure from the EU.
Johnson promised for months that the U.K. would leave the 28-nation bloc on the scheduled date of Oct. 31, “come what may.” But after Parliament blocked his plan to rush his Brexit deal into law, the EU granted Britain a three-month Brexit delay, setting a new Jan. 31 deadline.
Johnson blames the opposition for the failure to leave the EU on Thursday as scheduled.