Brexit LIVE: How Brecon by-election was a VICTORY for Brexit – despite Lib Dem win

Posted on Aug 3 2019 - 11:11pm by admin

The Conservatives, Brexit Party and UKIP finished with a total of 50.3 percent of the ballot as voters again demanded officials to get on with Brexit. The result saw Brexit Party sources and UKIP GLA member David Kurten both declare a win for a Leave alliance. 

The Greens and Plaid Cymru agreed not to field candidates in the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election yesterday to avoid splitting the Remainer vote, with just the Liberal Democrats and Labour securing just under 49 percent. 

But the region will instead get a remain-backing MP after the Lib Dems Jane Dodds topped the election as the Tories lost ground. Some of their natural voters diverted to the Brexit Party, who picked up 10 percent of the ballot.

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The Conservatives and the Brexit Party both lost out to the Lib Dems (Image: GETTY)

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Tory MP Dr Philip Lee is threatening to defect to the Lib Dems over Brexit (Image: GETTY)

8.45pm update: The five reasons why October 31 exit is inevitable – shock claim

Fervent Brexiteer John Redwood has sought to quash lingering doubts about whether Boris Johnson will succeed in his pledge to take the UK out of the EU by October 31 by listing five reasons why such an outcome is inevitable.

However, contributors to the MP’s website have nevertheless voiced their scepticism about whether Mr Johnson can be trusted to deliver, with less than three months to go, with several referencing yesterday’s defeat in the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election. Mr Redwood posted: “Some have doubts we will leave the EU on the date stated by the PM.

“There are many good reasons why he has to stick to it.”

7.00pm update: Express poll – Would you switch from Farage’s Brexit Party to Boris’ Tories 

Since Boris Johnson was elected Conservative leader and Prime Minister, Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party has taken a knocking in opinion polls. 

The Boris bounce has seen the new Prime Minister block tye Brexit wave, with Mr Farage’s party now on around 17 percent, down on the 26 percent it secured in an opinion poll just days after the party narrowly lost the Peterborough by-election by just over 600 votes. 

Meanwhile, the Conservatives have seen a resurgence under Mr Johnson, with the party now sitting at around 31 percent. 

The consequences of Boris’ comeback were shown in yesterday’s by-election, where the Brexit party’s 10 percent of the vote ultimately cost the Tories a chance to hold the seat. 

Would you switch allegiance from The Brexit Party? Are you now backing Boris and the Tories?

Get voting in our poll now. 

6.00pm update: Brexit Party source says Chris Davies was the reason the Tories lost Brecon seat

A spokesperson for The Brexit Party has told Express.co.uk they believe selecting disgraced MP Chris Davies was what lost the Tories victory in the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election. 

The source added that Mr Davies deserved no sympathy after voting for Mr’s May’s Withdrawal Agreement. 

Mr Davies pleaded guilty to two charges of making false expenses claims and it was a successful recall petition that led t yesterday’s by-election. 

Speaking to Express.co.uk, the source said: “The reason why the Conservatives lost the seat in Brecon and Radnor is very simple, they fielded a candidate who had been convicted of expense abuse. 

“He voted for Mrs May’s terrible Withdrawal Agreement and deserves no sympathy.”

5.15pm update: ‘We will expose Boris’s backsliding’, vows Brexit Party chief Tice 

Brexit Party chairman Richard Tice has vowed his team will expose Boris’ backsliding on Brexit as the businessman slammed the new Prime Minister. 

The party chairman also declared that his team are preparing hard for an early General Election and that they will show established parties that they mean business. 

He added: “After a few short days of making positive noises, the new Prime Minister is already talking about an extended period of transition. A period when we would effectively still be in the Single Markey and Customs Union. 

“As you would expect, exposing Boris’ backsliding on Brexit will be a focus for us in the weeks ahead.”

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A Brexit Party source claims Chris Davies was the reason why the Tories lost (Image: Getty)

4.55pm update: Brexit Party’s WARNING to Boris – Deliver or disappear

A Brexit Party spokesperson has told Express.co.uk that the party must deliver Brexit on October 31st or risk disappearing from Britsh politics. 

The source added that the seat was the party’s 400th most targeted seat as the new group stole third in the ballot and just over 3,000 votes. 

Speaking to Express.co.uk, the source said: “If you do not deliver a full clean Brexit on the 31dt then you can forget about being the Government, the Brexit Party will be the vehicle for huge voter disillusionment.

“Deliver or disappear.”

4.00pm update: Corbyn dissapointed after Labour plummet to fourth BEHIND Brexit Party

Jeremy Corbyn has called the result of last night’s Brecon and Radnorshire by-election ‘disappointing’ as Labour crashed at the ballot box. 

The party plummeted at the polls last night to finish fourth, their worst ever result in the constituency they had held for 40 years from 1939 to 1979. 

Speaking to the BBC, the Labour leader said: “The Liberal Democrats won it after doing a deal with Plaid Cymru and the Greens. 

“I think that a lot of voters were determined to get rid of the Conservatives, and they voted accordingly. So we were squeezed.”

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The Brexit Party came third in the polls, beating Labour (Image: PA)

3.30pm update: Government underestimates support small businesses need, says FSB

Small businesses have slammed Boris Johnson’s Brexit payouts, warning the extra £108million worth of money is simply not good enough for desperately under prepared businesses. 

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) added that the new funds underestimates the support that small businesses need to prepare for a cliff edge no deal and that more information is needed about what the extra funding would be used for. 

The groups Policy and Advocacy Chairman also suggested that Bexit vouchers of up to £3,000 for small firms should be considered while the government should focus on securing a pro-business deal with the EU. 

The extra funding comes after Chancellor Sajid Javid revealed an extra £2.1billion to guarantee Britain is ready to leave on October 31. The total Treasury budget now stands at over £6billion after £4.2billion was previously set aside.

Additional reporting by Katie Harris

2.50pm update: Boris’s Commons majority on brink of WIPE OUT

A Remainer Tory MP is threatening to wipe out Boris Johnson’s House of Commons majority by defecting to the Liberal Democrats over Brexit.

Dr Philip Lee said he was feeling “politically homeless” and would “spend the summer” thinking about his future.

The move would wipe out Mr Johnson’s working majority, which was reduced to just one following the victory of the Lib Dems in the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election yesterday.

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The new Prime Minister is now down to a working majority of one (Image: Getty)

2.35pm update: Varadkar ‘overplayed his hand’ – DUP leader

In a talkRADIO interview, host Julia Hartley-Brewer asked: “Do you think Leo Varadkar has overplayed his hand?”

DUP leader Arlene Foster replied: “Oh I do most definitely, and I think it’s bad news for the Republic of Ireland, no doubt about it, if there’s a no-deal Brexit.

“But, Leo has to accept his responsibility for bringing that about if it does indeed happen, because he has been very truculent. He hasn’t been willing to speak with the UK in a bilateral way, he hides behind the strings of the EU and Michel Barnier does the negotiation.

“He won’t speak to those of us who have a very big interest in finding a way forward that benefits the Republic of Ireland and benefits Northern Ireland.

“There have been bilateral deals done before, it’s very, very disappointing that he won’t look at a way of finding a positive way forward.”

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DUP leader Arlene Foster said Irish premier Leo Varadkar had overplayed his hand (Image: GETTY)

2pm update: Tory chairman snaps at claim there is ‘no mandate’ for no deal

James Cleverly hit out in a heated debate with Good Morning Britain presenter Adil Ray over the party’s supposed lack of a mandate for a no deal Brexit.

The ITV host said: “The truth is you guys don’t really have a mandate to implement a no-deal Brexit.”

Mr Cleverly interrupted: “We absolutely do.”

Mr Ray continued: “No you don’t, you did not campaign for a no deal. There’s no evidence anywhere of anybody saying ‘we will leave without a deal’.

“Everyone talked of a deal, there is no mandate. There is no mandate is there for the Tory party.”

The MP hit back: “The referendum question was a simple question, Leave or Remain. The majority of people voted to Leave. We have attempted on numerous occasions to leave with a deal. But the Labour Party, or the Lib Dems, or most Labour MPs, the SNP, have rejected that each and every time.”

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New Tory chairman James Cleverly (left) feels the result proves the need to deliver Brexit (Image: PA)

1.15pm update: EU’s Verhofstadt rages at ‘irresponsible’ Johnson over no deal threat

Guy Verhofstadt has attacked Prime Minister Boris Johnson over his threat of a no-deal Brexit

The European Parliament’s chief Brexit negotiator slammed Mr Johnson’s “irresponsible posturing” about a no deal.

Mr Verhofstadt tweeted: “I fully expect EU Governments to remain calm & keep their unity in the face of irresponsible posturing about a no-deal Brexit.”

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Guy Verhofstadt attacked Boris Johnson over his threat of a no-deal Brexit (Image: GETTY)

12.35pm update: Farage’s Brexit Party in ‘difficult position’ after Brecon result

Polling expert Joe Twyman has said the Brexit Party are in a “really difficult position” after the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election as their decision to stand could have split the Leave vote.

Sky News host Stephen Dixon asked: “What is the Brexit Party strategy going to be on this when we know what they want to achieve? They have shot themselves in the foot haven’t they?”

Mr Twyman replied: “The really difficult position the Brexit Party have is that they want to be an anti-establishment party, one of the outsiders.

“Jumping into bed with the Conservatives is not seen as a particularly good move.

“There is no guarantee that if the Brexit Party had some sort of coalition with the Conservatives that all of their voters, in this particular case, would have switched to the Conservatives.

“It probably would have been enough but it is very unlikely to have been all of them.”

12.10pm update: ‘Deliver Brexit or you’ll be annihilated’ – Farage

Nigel Farage has warned the Tories will be “annihilated” if Boris Johnson does not deliver Brexit by October 31.

Mr Farage fired the warning as the Brexit Party unveiled its first would-be MPs as it gears up for an early general election.

He tweeted: “Today The Brexit Party launches 50 new parliamentary candidates across the country. If the Tories don’t deliver Brexit by October 31, they will be annihilated.”

The Brexit Party will eventually announce candidates for all 650 seats across the UK.

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Nigel Farage has warned the Tories will be “annihilated” if Brexit is not delivered by October 31 (Image: GETTY/BREXIT PARTY)

11.35am update: Early general election ‘increasingly likely’ 

Ladbrokes has slashed the odds on a general election taking place this year to just 4/5.

Alex Apati of Ladbrokes said: “It’s looking increasingly likely an election will take place sooner, rather than later, during Johnson’s tenure.”

It comes as Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party is gearing up for an election by unveiling its first would-be MPs.

10.50am update: BBC host slams Lib Dem leader for “working the system”

BBC Breakfast presenter Ben Thompson accused Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson of “working the system” by collaborating with Plaid Cymru and the Green Party in the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election.

The BBC host added that despite the Lib Dem’s victory there was an “overall majority” for pro-Brexit parties.

He said:  “You say it’s a great night for your party, on paper yes a victory is a victory.

“But nonetheless the Greens and Plaid Cymru stood aside to let you campaign on this platform, and there was still an overall majority for parties that were backing Leave. This is not a huge anti-Brexit movement by any stretch.”

10am update: Bank of England Governor warning over no-deal Brexit

Mark Carney told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “The economics of no deal are that the rules of the game for trade – exporting to Europe or importing from Europe – fundamentally change.

“There are some very big industries in this country where that which is highly profitable becomes not profitable, becomes uneconomic, and very difficult decisions will need to be taken. That has knock-on effects on the economy in the short term.”

He added: “One would expect prices to go up. It’s reasonable to expect, the markets are absolutely clear on this, that in the event of no deal the exchange rate would go down for a period of time.

“And the area of the economy where that instantly translates into prices – it’s at the forecourt of the petrol station and in fruit and veg.”

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Mark Carney warned businesses will suffer and food prices would rise if there is a no-deal Brexit (Image: REUTERS)

9.25am update: Johnson can only win general election after no-deal Brexit – poll

Boris Johnson can only win a general election if it is held after a no-deal Brexit on October 31, according to a new poll.

The Tories would have a seven-point lead over Labour and win back support from the Brexit Party in an election after a no-deal exit on Halloween, the ComRes survey found.

Mr Johnson would not secure a Commons majority in any other scenario including leaving with a Theresa May-style deal.

Ben Walker, founder of Britain Elects, which commissioned ComRes, told the Telegraph: “The polling does show how in the event of a no-deal Brexit Leave voters would coalesce around one party, uniting the Leave brand whereas the Remain side would stay split, gifting the Conservatives a majority.”

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Nigel Farage “still holds Boris Johnson hostage on Brexit”, ITV’s Robert Peston tweeted (Image: GETTY)

9am update: Farage ‘still holds Johnson hostage on Brexit’ – Peston

Nigel Farage “still holds Boris Johnson hostage on Brexit” following the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election, ITV’s political editor Robert Peston tweeted.

The Tories narrowly lost the mid-Wales constituency to the Lib Dems, while Mr Farage’s Brexit Party took 10 percent of the vote in third place.

Peston said on Twitter: “Arguably it was the Brexit Party that cost the Conservatives the Brecon and Radnorshire seat, and that therefore ⁦@Nigel_Farage⁩ still holds ⁦@BorisJohnson⁩ hostage on Brexit.”

8.45am update: Lib Dem victory in Brecon by-election could help ‘stop Brexit’

Lib Dem MP Sir Ed Davey said: “It was a great result for us here. I think it’s got significance outside Brecon and Radnorshire. It’s a great fillip to Jo Swinson and I think it will boost our opinion poll rating. I hope it will.

“And that means those people out there who want to stop Brexit, they’ve had it confirmed for them once again if you want to do that come and vote Liberal Democrat because it works.

“This has certainly pricked Boris’s bubble, his majority has been reduced down to one. And we know over the lifetime of the Parliament many votes have been won and lost by one vote.

“With his majority shrinking that means we may well be able to stop Brexit. I’ve said all along the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election was the front-line of the campaign to stop Brexit and I’m delighted it was us who achieved that victory tonight.”

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The Tories lost the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election to the Lib Dems (Image: GETTY)

8.30am update: Johnson has majority of one after Brecon by-election

Boris Johnson has been left with a working majority of just one after the Tories lost the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election to the Lib Dems.

Jane Dodds beat incumbent Tory Chris Davies, who was ousted by constituents following his conviction for a false expenses claim, by 1,425 votes.

It will add to the challenge for the Prime Minister to steer Brexit through Parliament.

Ms Dodds said: “People are desperately crying out for a different kind of politics. There is no time for tribalism when our country is faced with a Boris Johnson Government and the threat of a no-deal Brexit.”

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