Tory grandee Edwina Currie has claimed the Brexit Party is helping “drain votes from Labour” in the North and in turn, is helping Boris Johnson in his election bid.
Appearing on Newsnight, which was last night broadcast from Wakefield, Ms Currie was responding to Brexit Party candidate for Hull West, who said: “I believe that there are a huge number of people who voted Brexit who feel politically homeless.
“What I believe - and I couldn’t be any more certain in this if I tried - there are a huge number of Brexiteers who were previously Labour who would not vote for Tory if you paid them, and without the Brexit Party they would simply abstain because they are fed up of the lot of them so we absolutely serve a purpose.”
Ms Currie replied: “You’re helping drain votes from Labour.”
Earlier in the programme Andrew Percy, Tory candidate for Brigg and Goole, and Richard Burgon, Labour’s pick for Leeds East, went head to head.
Questioned on Brexit Mr Burgon said he had represented a Leave seat and said: “When you go onto the doorstep and ask people what they think the biggest political question is they say Brexit, but when you ask them what is important to you and your family they very rarely say Brexit.”
However during a segment in which presenter Kirsty Wark took to the streets of Wakefield to speak to voters, one man said: “This election is Brexit, whatever you say.”
Mr Percy said: “I think Richard must be knocking on different doors to me.
“All I meet is people who have voted Labour and voted Leave and have figured out the Labour MPs we’ve been sending down to London for years are not going to do what the people want to do on Brexit which is to Leave, it’s what we voted for.”