Nigel Farage has alleged that the prime minister’s effective chief of staff was involved in offering Brexit Party candidates jobs to stand aside as election candidates.
In an interview with Sky News, the Brexit Party leader said the push came from Downing Street – which included Sir Edward Lister.
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Mr Farage first made the allegation last week, saying the offer included peerages, but did not name any individuals
A Conservative spokesperson once again denied the story, telling Sky News: “Neither the Conservative Party, nor its officials have offered Brexit Party candidates jobs or peerages.”
Mr Farage told Sky’s Lewis Goodall that in the run-up to the deadline for candidates to put themselves forward for the general election on 12 December, there was a “good cop, bad cop” approach employed.
Hundreds of Brexit Party candidates were, he claimed, “effectively intimidated by bombardments of phone calls saying they shouldn’t stand”.
At the same time, Mr Farage said, there was a “wilful attempt to buy people off with jobs”.
Asked if he thought what had happened was a crime, the Brexit Party leader replied: “That’s not for me to judge. I think it’s wrong.
“It is corruption of our politics and I think it’s pretty appalling. I think it shows why the honours system is way past its sell-by date.”
Mr Farage said the police have not been in touch with him since he made the allegations and added: “I doubt much will happen.”
Asked if he was accusing people close to Boris Johnson of corruption, he responded: “That’s right.”
Pressed to name names, Mr Farage said: “I will talk to them [the police] as and when they come to see me.
“I’m not going to name names. One name has been talked about that was involved in all this which was Sir Eddie Lister.
“Let me assure you, that from talking to [Brexit Party MEP] Ann Widdecombe and others, they’ve all received phone calls from people who work in Number 10 and there’s a long list of names.”
As to whether Mr Johnson himself was aware, he told our correspondent: “I don’t know. Probably not.”
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