A PARLIAMENTARY candidate has said “Conservatives have moved away and abandoned their traditional followers” after Nigel Farage’s decision to not stand candidates in the upcoming election.

Brexit Party leader Mr Farage announced to supporters in Hartlepool on Monday his party would not be fielding candidates at next month’s General Election in seats with incumbent Tory MPs.

Michael Beckett, Lib Dem candidate for Harwich and North Essex, said: “After hidden backroom dealings, whose content is as unavailable to the electorate as the secret Russian dossier, Sir Bernard Jenkin is now Nigel Farage’s man in Harwich and North Essex.

“Sir Bernard Jenkin, who is on the extreme right of the Conservative Party, has dragged his party away from traditional Conservative values and forced out One Nation Conservatives from the Parliamentary party.

“Much the same has been done to social democrats by Momentum in Mr Corbyn’s Labour Party.

“The reasonable alternative therefore is the Liberal Democrats who want to stop Brexit.

“If you are a reasonable traditional Labour or Conservative supporter, your party has abandoned you.”

Labour candidate, Stephen Rice, said the news came as one of shock.

He said: “I could not help, but feel a bit sorry for the candidates who have had the rug pulled from under them.

“I am also concerned for those voters who feel ignored and may be now even more frustrated.

“This will feed cynicism and anger at a time when many look for informed, civilised debate.

“Whether it will help or disadvantage the Labour Party remains to be seen.

“As to why Mr Farage makes any of his decisions, I would only venture to suggest that he is unlikely to be motivated by the common good.”

Mr Farage said the Brexit Party would focus its efforts on taking on Labour in Brexit voting seats, mostly in the north of England.

Independent candidate Richard Browning-Smith and Conservative candidate Sir Bernard Jenkin welcomed the news.

Sir Bernard said: “I understand why people who voted leave are frustrated and angry because I am too that we are still in the EU.

“But we all have to compromise to have Brexit done.

“Boris’ deal is far from perfect, but it’s much improved and it gives UK a great starting point for a good global future and trade with the rest of the world.”

Mr Browning Smith said he’s convinced people will vote for him, because he’s the only candidate who talks to residents and listens to their worries.

He added: “This decision won’t affect my position, but make it better, it is to my advantage.

“I’ve got many people voting for me, because I know how to go from door to door and convince people, which I’ve been doing for the past month.”

n Tony Francis (Christian Independent) is also standing for Harwich and North Essex.