A Conservative MP has praised candidates standing for a rival party as “fantastic”.
Lucy Allan, MP for Telford, had high praise for candidates from Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party – even though they will be standing against candidates representing the Conservative Party in the European Elections, taking place on May 23.
Some opinion polls suggest Tories could be pushed into third place in the vote , which the UK is taking part in because of the failure to leave the EU.
One poll from YouGov found 27% of voters said they planned to back the Brexit Party, with 22% supporting Labour and just 15% saying they would vote Conservative. A high proportion of people said they did not know who they would vote for.
So you might think the Tories need all the help they can get.
But Ms Allan, a firm supporter of Brexit, Tweeted a new story about the launch of the Brexit Party’s election campaign and added the comment: “Some fantastic candidates”.
Newly-announced Brexit Party candidates include Claire Fox, director and founder of the think tank the Institute of Ideas.
Candidates announced previously include Annunziata Rees-Mogg, sister of Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg, and Mr Farage himself.
Asked to explain, Ms Allan told one Twitter follower: “Big fan of Claire Fox.”
Endorsing candidates from a rival party would usually be grounds for expulsion from any political party. However, Ms Allan could perhaps argue that she simply said the candidates were fantastic and didn’t actually suggest voting for them.
In the West Midlands Anthea McIntyre and Daniel Dalton, the region’s two sitting Conservative MEPs, are standing again.
Brexit was originally due to take place on March 29, which would have meant the UK did not take part in the European elections.
However, the failure to leave the EU has meant the UK will need to elect new MEPs.