Brexit Party announces Portsmouth South candidate who wants to 'hold Boris Johnson's feet to the fire'

John Kennedy, left, with Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage
John Kennedy, left, with Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage
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THE Brexit Party has named its candidate for Portsmouth South despite pleas from the Conservatives to enter into an election pact.

John Kennedy will stand for Nigel Farage’s party. Mr Farage announced on Monday he would stand down candidates in 317 seats that returned Tories in the 2017 election but fight Labour seats.

That freed up Mr Kennedy, who was due to take on Gosport’s Caroline Dinenage at the general election.

Both Ms Dinenage and Portsmouth South Tory candidate Donna Jones have publicly said the Brexit Party should not stand in Portsmouth South so as not to split the Leave vote.

READ MORE: Brexit Party to stand in Portsmouth South – but Nigel Farage says party will not contest Conservative seats

Speaking to The News, Mr Kennedy said: ‘We still need to fight and win in enough seats to make sure that Boris Johnson keeps these promises.

‘Now that there is less risk of a split vote and a hard-left Labour government, Tory and Labour voters here can return a Brexit MP to Westminster to help see this crisis through.

‘If Boris wants to stay on at Number 10 he is going to have to deliver and I want to be there to bend his ear and hold his feet to the fire.

‘I am delighted to have the Portsmouth South nomination and will be campaigning to join other Brexit MPs in Westminster, to make sure that Boris Johnson does what he has promised to do, if he is re-elected.

READ MORE: General Election 2019: Lib Dem candidate for Portsmouth brands Brexit a 'real disaster'

'It will be an honour to serve as the MP for Portsmouth South, as it was to fight this constituency during the European elections where I was able to interact with people who I hope will vote for me again next month.’

Mr Kennedy will go up against Labour incumbent Stephen Morgan, and Liberal Democrats candidate Gerald Vernon-Jackson, along with Councillor Jones.

The Green Party is not standing a candidate, instead forming a Remain Alliance with the Lib Dems.

READ MORE: General Election 2019: Polling puts Liberal Democrats beating Labour MP Stephen Morgan in Portsmouth South

A Survation poll last week put Lib Dems as winning the marginal seat, with the Brexit Party taking a 14 per cent vote share.

Yesterday Mr Farage announced he was standing down candidates in Tory seats as the prime minster said he would not allow the transition period to go beyond 2020, and would aim for a trade deal without political alignment.