‘No one has been offered jobs’: Government minister Brandon Lewis denies Brexit Party figures including Ann Widdecombe were offered deals to desert Nigel Farage ahead of the general election
- Security Minister denied that anyone in eurosceptic party was ‘offered jobs’
- Police revealed they were assessing two allegations of electoral fraud
- Farage claims eight party figures offered a peerage to step aside
No deals were struck with senior Brexit Party figures to entice them to desert Nigel Farage ahead of the general election, a top Tory said today.
Security Minister Brandon Lewis denied that anyone in the eurosceptic party had been ‘offered jobs’ or cut a deal not to stand against Tories in December.
It came after police revealed they were assessing two allegations of electoral fraud after claims the Tories offered peerages in return for standing down.
Lord Falconer wrote to the Metropolitan Police Commissioner and Director of Public Prosecutions yesterday calling for a probe into what he said were ‘exceptionally serious allegations’.
The Labour former lord chancellor said it should be investigated as a matter of urgency and must be looked at by police in order to maintain public confidence in the integrity of the election.
Mr Lewis told Sky’s Ridge on Sunday today: ‘No-one has been offered jobs or anything like that.
‘There have been no job offers, we have done no deals with anybody.’
Security Minister Brandon Lewis denied that anyone in the eurosceptic party had been ‘offered jobs’ or cut a deal not to stand against Tories in December
It came after police revealed they were assessing two allegations of electoral fraud after claims the Tories offered peerages in return for standing down
Lord Falconer’s letter to Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick and Max Hill QC, the director of public prosecutions, refers to Nigel Farage’s claim that he and eight other senior figures within the Brexit Party were offered peerages.
Former Tory shadow home secretary Ann Widdecombe spoke on LBC yesterday to reveal that she was prepared to ‘swear on the Bible’ that she had been offered a role in the next phase of Brexit allegations.
But Mr Lewis said: ‘I think what’s rather surreal with this conversation, not least of all is the fact that actually as chairman I removed Ann Widdecombe’s membership of the Conservative Party because she had joined the Brexit Party – that’s completely in breach of our constitution – but also because we’re the party saying we need to get a clear Conservative majority, we are fighting these seats to get Brexit done and deliver for people.’
Brexit Party candidate for Peterborough, Mike Greene, was also allegedly offered an unpaid role in education in the hope that he would stand aside – according to a Conservative source reported by the BBC.
Mr Farage has claimed he had repeatedly been offered a seat in the House of Lords in an attempt to persuade him to ‘go quietly’.
He said that when that failed, people working ‘deep inside Number 10’ had tried to bypass him, going directly to senior Brexit Party figures and suggesting eight of them could be made peers if they could persuade him to withdraw more of his candidates.
The Metropolitan Police said: ‘The MPS has received two allegations of electoral fraud and malpractice in relation to the 2019 General Election.
‘The MPS special enquiry team is responsible for investigating all such criminal allegations. Both allegations are currently being assessed.
‘The MPS will not be providing comment about individual cases.’