Farage delivers his Brexit plan to No10 moments after May leaves

I’m next! Farage delivers his Brexit plan to No10 moments after Theresa May leaves – as he vows to sabotage the Tories by fighting a general election if they delay leaving the EU

  • Theresa May looked relieved as she was driven away from Downing Street on her last day as Tory leader
  • Minutes later Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage arrived to deliver a copy of his plan for a clean break from EU 
  • Conservatives slumped to third in the Peterborough by-election overnight, with Labour just scraping home
  • Labour got 30.9% of the vote, Brexit Party got 28.9% and Tories just 21.4% – showing how Brexiteer vote split  

Nigel Farage posed with his Brexit plan in Downing Street today – minutes after Theresa May left on her last day as Tory leader.  

Mrs May was driven away from No10 looking relieved to be out of the pressure cooker, as the Tories digested a dismal third place showing in the Peterborough by-election overnight.  

Almost immediately afterwards, Mr Farage turned up at the famous black door to deliver a copy of his blueprint for a ‘clean break’ from the EU. 

Although his fledgling Brexit Party narrowly failed to win in Peterborough, they took a huge chunk out of the Conservatives’ support – and Mr Farage has vowed to do the same at a general election unless the government fulfils the verdict from the 2016 referendum.   

Nigel Farage said today he was proud of how his Brexit Party came so close to winning Peterborough – and said unless the Tories vote for them at a general election Jeremy Corbyn will be PM

Mrs May was driven away from No10 looking relieved to be out of the pressure cooker, as the Tories digested a dismal third place showing in the Peterborough by-election overnight

In a result that will cause panic at Tory HQ, Lisa Forbes sneaked home despite recording the lowest winning vote share in modern history – as Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party and the Conservatives split their support.

It underlines how Labour could score a general election victory when the two rival parties are squabbling over the same base.

A bitter blame game immediately erupted between Mr Farage and Tory leadership favourite Mr Johnson, who claimed that Brexit Party votes risked ‘delivering Corbyn to No 10’.

Mr Johnson also reiterated his vow to take the UK out of the EU by October 31 at all costs.

But Mr Farage shot back that Mr Johnson could not be trusted as he had voted for Theresa May’s Brexit deal. ‘What does he actually believe in?’ he jibed.

Mr Farage’s party had been hoping to send a shockwave through British politics by getting local businessman Mike Greene into the Commons to represent an area that voted 60.9 per cent for Leave in the 2016 referendum.

But he was pipped into second, with Ms Forbes winning 10,484 to his 9,801. The Tories were in third place on 7,243. It is thought to be the lowest winning vote share in modern UK electoral history.

Former Brexit minister David Jones gave a succinct assessment of the by-election result – the Tory MP tweeted: ‘Message from Peterborough: no Brexit = Corbyn.’

Ms Forbes used her speech to hammer her nearest rival and said: ‘Despite the differing opinions across our city, the fact that the Brexit Party have been rejected here in Peterborough shows that the politics of division will not win’.

Mr Corbyn declared it a ‘great win’ while shadow chancellor John McDonnell claimed Labour had sent Mr Farage ‘out the back door’ and ‘punctured the Brexit Party’s balloon’. 

Peterborough by-election result: Lisa Forbes won 10,484 votes ahead of the Brexit Party’s Mike Greene’s 9,801, taking the seat for Labour by 683 votes 

A bitter blame game immediately erupted between Mr Farage and Tory leadership favourite Boris Johnson, who claimed that Brexit Party votes risked ‘delivering Corbyn to No 10’

Brexit Party candidate Mike Greene gives a thumbs down as newly elected Labour MP Lisa Forbes gives her speech slamming Nigel Farage’s party 

Labour’s Lisa Forbes won 10,484 votes – despite securing less than third of the overall vote, beating Brexit Party candidate Mike Greene by just 683 with 9,801, followed by Paul Bristow for the Conservatives with 7,243

 A graphic shows Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party increased its share of the vote by almost 29% on the last Peterborough election – as he was in charge of Ukip last time with the Brexit Party yet to form – while Labour’s 31% share last time decreased by 17.2% last time. The Tories share was also down 25.4% on the 2015 General Election, while the Lib Dems and Greens saw increases

However, there was disquiet among some Labour MPs after Ms Forbes faced controversy the week before the poll over a Facebook post she ‘liked’ saying Mrs May had a ‘Zionist slave masters agenda’.  

She has apologised for not reading the text, insisting anti-Semitism is ‘abhorrent’.

But Labour MP Jess Phillips tweeted: ‘Lisa ignored and endorsed anti-Semitic things, I’ll take her explanation and apology at face value &look forward to her proving as others have that actions not excuses alone can heal. 

What are Nigel Farage’s Brexit demands? 

Nigel Farage delivered a letter to Downing Street today setting out his demands on Brexit.

He pointed out that the Brexit Party won recent European elections by a ‘very substantial’ margin – and would have secured a 240-seat Commons majority if it had been a Westminster election.

He highlighted that the party had ‘three simple messages’ – restoring trust in democracy, Brexit on World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms, and getting their MEPs on to the negotiating team.

The letter said: ‘The electorate have asked for us to come into the negotiating team and we are ready to do so immediately.

‘This is especially the case given the lack of activity and forces, due to the (Tory) leadership contest.’

Mr Farage added: ‘I trust you will agree that the country should not suffer the further uncertainty of having to beg for another delay 31 October.’ 

‘But with every case the parties values chip away and our ability to stand up against hate erodes.’ 

The narrow result saw voters split between the Brexit Party and the Tories. Combined they would have easily been enough to win the seat in an area that voted strongly for Leave in 2016. 

If the vote is divided the same way across the country at a general election, the most likely result would be Mr Corbyn becoming the next Prime Minister. 

The Brexit Party’s candidate lost the marginal to Corbynite Ms Forbes despite her campaign being marred by an anti-Semitism scandal.

And in a damning valedictory statement for Mrs May, on the day she steps down as party leader, the Tories were well beaten into third place in a seat they held as recently as 2017.  

Tory leadership contender Matt Hancock said the by-election showed ‘our real opponent is Jeremy Corbyn’.

‘We need to deliver Brexit then turn the page with a fresh face and concentrate on all the other things that matter to people,’ he said.

Tory leadership hopeful Jeremy Hunt said the ‘incredibly disappointing’ result in Peterborough showed there was ‘no future for our party until we deliver Brexit – any elections before then will just allow (Jeremy) Corbyn to sneak through the middle’.

‘But when the UK has Brexited, we will be back,’ he predicted.

Another candidate, Esther McVey said: ‘The result in Peterborough is the shape of things to come if we don’t deliver a clean Brexit on 31 October. 

‘Our persistent thwarting of the referendum result shows that a Brexit Party vote will let Jeremy Corbyn into No 10 by the back door. 

‘Brexit is an opportunity to be seized not a problem to be mitigated. 

‘The UK can thrive after a clean break with the EU, and we will at last be able to show, once again, how a Conservative agenda can kickstart the economy.’ 

Mr Farage made a brief appearance at the count – apparently anticipating victory – but left without talking to reporters.

In a tweet, the party said it was a ‘remarkable result’ for such a new organisation, adding: ‘If we can come so close in our 201st target seat, no seat is safe’.  

The result seems certain to ignite the race among MPs vying to replace Mrs May to get Brexit completed so they do not have to compete with the Brexit Party at a general election that could see the vote similarly split. 

It means that Labour has increased the 607 majority won in 2017 by Fiona Onasanya – whose ejection from Parliament earlier this year after being jailed for lying to police sparked tonight’s vote.  

The result came as a huge relief for Labour after their dismal showing in last month’s European elections amid complaints they had failed to offer a clear line on Brexit.

Mr Corbyn said it was a ‘great win’ and represented a rejection of the Conservatives’ ‘disastrous’ handling of Brexit. 

Mr Johnson, pictured leaving his London home today, is the favourite for the Tory leadership and has vowed to deliver Brexit by October at all costs


Mr Farage made a brief appearance at the count – apparently anticipating victory – but left without talking to reporters.

Mr Farage’s upstart outfit was denied an historic victory that would have represented a damning Brexit rebuke for the main political parties

Mr Greene, centre, campaigned hard to win the seat in his home town but came up just short

In a slapdown to Remainers urging him to back a second referendum, he also insisted it showed that tackling austerity was more important than campaigning on Brexit.  

‘In this key seat, the Conservatives have been pushed to the margins,’ he said.

‘This result shows that in spite of the divisions and deadlock over Brexit, when it comes to a vote on the issues that directly affect people’s lives, Labour’s case for real change has strong support across the country.’

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell tweeted that it was ‘great to send Farage sneaking out by the back door, puncturing the Brexit Party’s balloon. Well done Lisa Forbes.’

Lisa Forbes’ by-election win reignites Labour’s anti-Semitism row

Labour MP Jess Phillips said that while she was glad the Brexit Party had been defeated in Peterborough ‘I cannot be gleeful or proud as I’d want to be because of how it shows that anti-Semitism is becoming normal in the party’

Labour MPs voiced dismay about anti-Semitism being ‘normalised’ today after Corbynite Lisa Forbes won the Peterborough by-election.

Lisa Forbes sneaked home ahead of Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party days after Jewish groups had called for her deselection as a candidate. 

She delivered another grovelling apology after her victory for appearing to endorse anti-Semitic material online, insisting: ‘I don’t have a bad bone in my body towards any race of people’.

But Labour MP Jess Phillips said that while she was glad the Brexit Party had been defeated in Peterborough ‘I cannot be gleeful or proud as I’d want to be because of how it shows that anti-Semitism is becoming normal in the party’.

The Birmingham Yardley MP said: ‘Lisa ignored and endorsed anti-Semitic things, I’ll take her explanation and apology at face value and look forward to her proving, as others have, that actions not excuses alone can heal.

‘But with every case the parties values chip away and our ability to stand up against hate erodes.’

Ilford North MP Wes Streeting said he had not campaigned in Peterborough since Ms Forbes’ social media activity came to light as he wanted to demonstrate a ‘zero tolerance’ approach. 

Labour former minister Dame Margaret Hodge, who has clashed with Jeremy Corbyn over anti-Semitism, wrote on Twitter: ‘Seriously mixed feelings about the Peterborough result. I never want to see Nigel Farage’s party in Parliament. 

‘But Lisa Forbes & the Labour Party have a lot to answer for. We must learn lessons & never have a repeat of this. Have formally raised concerns with party leadership.’

Mr Greene hailed his party’s effort after just a few months existence and warned they would be gunning for the big two parties at the next election.

‘Two parties have been ruling this country for decades. That is not happening anymore. We were ahead of the Tories, only 683 votes behind Labour,’ he told Sky News.

‘They have decades of data. We had nothing just four weeks ago. We did not have the vote numbers they had. We didn’t have the voting history they have.

‘We will be back. Let’s see what does happen in the next general election.’ 

Praising his latest MP’s win, Mr Corbyn said: ‘Peterborough has shown clear support for Labour’s programme to end austerity and invest in services and communities, rejecting a decade of Tory cuts and their disastrous handling of Brexit. 

‘In this key seat, the Conservatives have been pushed to the margins.

‘This result shows that in spite of the divisions and deadlock over Brexit, when it comes to a vote on the issues that directly affect people’s lives, Labour’s case for real change has strong support across the country.’ 

In her victory address, Ms Forbes hailed the result and the defeat of the Brexit Party.

‘Despite the differing opinions across our city, the fact that the Brexit Party have been rejected here in Peterborough shows that the politics of division will not win,’ she said.

Mr Farage is understood to have left the election count before the result was announced.   

At the last general election Onasanya enjoyed a tight 607-vote win over the Tories in 2017 in the marginal swing seat – which voted for Leave in the 2016 referendum – setting up a hugely symbolic showdown in Cambridgeshire. 

Labour sources had initially suggested that despite fighting a ‘hard’ campaign they felt that they could ‘lose out’.

Turnout was 48.4 per cent, down from 67.5 per cent in the 2017 general election but high for a by-election. 

Brexit Party chairman Richard Tice said as he arrived at the Peterborough by-election count: ‘It’s going to be really, really close.

‘We could be into recount territory. We could be here for some time, who knows.

‘What’s clear is the turnout is very high, which is great for democracy, so we should be encouraged by that but, you know, everybody’s worked incredibly hard, we’ve been at it for weeks, Labour have been at it for 100 years.’

The new party has already caused an earthquake by trouncing the Tories and Labour in European elections last month, amid a furious backlash at the government’s failure to secure the UK’s departure from the EU.

It has also been surging in Westminster polls, with one at the weekend showing the party top with 26 per cent support against 22 per cent for Labour and 17 per cent for the Tories.  

One Brexit Party source told MailOnline its activists had been ‘working our nuts off’ in the constituency, which has swapped between Tory and Labour hands for decades.

But they complained that resources were stretched, while Jeremy Corbyn has been going all-out to hold the seat. 

‘The fact is Labour was right to call it so fast. They know we were concentrating on the Euros,’ the source said. 

The by-election count got underway after 10pm last night at the KingsGate Centre in Peterborough, with the result looking very tight

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage (right) and party candidate Mike Greene have a drink at The Bull public house in Newborough

The first ballot boxes arrive at KingsGate Church in Peterborough, for the count in the Peterborough by-election. The result is due in the early hours of Friday

Any collapse in the Tory vote will be seen as a damning epitaph for Theresa May’s Premiership – on the day that she steps down as Conservative leade

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage looked in good spirits with party candidate Mike Greene (left) at KingsGate Church in Peterborough where votes will be counted in the by-election 

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage (right) walks with party candidate Mike Greene (left) as they ‘door knock’ in Newborough in Peterborough

Onasanya, 35, was jailed in January following an Old Bailey trial for repeatedly lying to police about a speeding offence in July 2017 – only weeks after she was elected to parliament. 

A lawyer, she lost her seat in the House of Commons earlier this month after more than 27 per cent of registered voters in her Peterborough constituency signed a recall petition demanding her removal.    

The Brexit Party swept to victory in the European Parliament elections last month, riding a wave of anger over Mrs May’s failure to deliver Brexit on time.  

Some national polls have put the Brexit Party top, amid a furious backlash at the government’s failure to secure the UK’s departure from the EU on time. This Opinium poll from the weekend (pictured) had Mr Farage’s party in the lead on 26 per cent, with Labour on 22 per cent and the Tories on just 17 per cent


Mr Farage’s Brexit Party hopes to win its first seat in Westminster as Peterborough goes to the polls today with its candidate Mike Greene – and the result expected between 2am and 4am on Friday

Labour party candidate Lisa Forbes (left) leaves the polling station at Parnwell Community Centre today

Polling stations have opened in Peterborough as the by-election campaign comes to its climax

Onasanya, 35, refused to quit after being handed a three-month prison sentence. But she was finally removed from her seat earlier this month

Huge field of political hopefuls trying to win votes in Peterborough 

Fifteen candidates stood in Thursday’s by-election in a constituency, which voted Leave by 60.9% in the EU referendum in 2016.

It has historically been a closely fought battle between Labour and the Conservatives.

But with Theresa May’s party in disarray over Brexit it looks likely to be a distant third this time around.

Both Labour and the Conservatives have campaigned hard ahead of the by-election, with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, former prime minister Gordon Brown and Tory big guns Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt all visiting the city in the lead-up.

But Mr Farage’s Brexit Party, which won 29 seats in the European elections, has also campaigned hard in its first tilt at a Westminster seat.

The candidates standing in the by-election are:

  • Brexit Party: Mike Greene 
  • Christian Peoples Alliance: Tom Rogers
  • Common Good: Remain In The EU: Dick Rodgers
  • Conservatives: Paul Bristow
  • English Democrats: Stephen Goldspink 
  • Greens: Joseph Wells 
  • No Description: Andrew Moore 
  • No Description: Bobby Smith 
  • Labour: Lisa Forbes 
  • Liberal Democrats: Beki Sellick 
  • Monster Raving Loony: Howling ‘Laud’ Hope 
  • Renew: Peter Ward 
  • SDP: Patrick O’Flynn 
  • UK European Union Party: Pierre Kirk 
  • Ukip: John Whitby

The Brexit Party was the bookmakers’ favourite to win in Peteborough, with Mr Farage spending a great deal of time campaigning there. 

In a bid to avoid splitting the vote, he urged Tory voters to back the Brexit Party to prevent Labour from retaining their vacated seat. 

Mr Farage told The Telegraph: ‘The Tory party in Peterborough are nowhere. But Labour have a massive election machine and they are throwing everything at this. And I mean everything. 

‘Our key message these last few days to conservative voters in the north of the constituency, is vote Conservative, get Corbyn. Only the Brexit Party can beat Labour here.’ 

Ironically, the slogan is based on David Cameron’s phrase to steal Ukip votes when Farage was leader of the independence party: ‘Vote Ukip, get Labour.’ 

However, the Tory vote held up significantly better than in the European elections – where it slumped to just 9 per cent. 

It took some time for Onasanya to be stripped of the seat, coming three months after she was jailed for perverting the course of justice. 

Her refusal to quit – despite serving as an independent after Labour kicked her out – allowed her to rake in more than £19,000 in pay over the last three months. 

And taxpayers will be hit with a bill of £500,000 to fund the costs of running the petition and election tomorrow.

It was the first time voters have successfully unseated an MP using 2015 legislation.   

MPs only automatically lose their seat if they are sentenced to more than one year in prison.

Since Onasanya’s three-month sentence fell below this threshold, it instead paved the way to open a recall petition in her constituency.

The petition defeat proved highly embarrassing for Onasanya who has brazenly maintained that she has done nothing wrong. 

She was convicted alongside her soul singer brother Festus, 34, who admitted three counts of perverting the course of justice, one of which related to the incident when the politician was driving. 

Almost three years since Britain voted 52 per cent to 48 per cent to leave the European Union, lawmakers remain at loggerheads over how, when or even whether to leave the EU.     

Mike Green is pictured with fellow Brexit Party supporters while canvassing in Peterborough last month

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