Tories accuse pro-EU group of trying to 'skew' Leicester West election result

Story from the Leicester Mercury

Conservative candidate Jack Hickey has raised concerns about Open Britain's aim to get anti-Brexit supporters to travel to the constituency in the run up to the election on June 8 to support Labour's Liz Kendall who is defending a majority of just over 7,000.

Open Britain itself says it is not trying to skew the vote but simply campaigning against what it describes as a 'a hard, destructive Brexit'.

It says: "We are asking our supporters, and anyone who opposes a hard Brexit, to campaign for candidates who will keep an open mind and campaign for a deal that is in the best interests of all the British people.

However Mr Hickey said the group was piling resource into recruiting activists to support Ms Kendall.

He said: "Last year, the British people spoke loud and clear about their wish to leave the EU, including thousands of people from Leicester West.

"We now have a historic opportunity to reshape Britain's position in the world, and only under Theresa May's leadership do we have the best chance of achieving this.

"Through their anti-democratic campaign, Open Britain want to sabotage Theresa May's negotiations with the EU – they see Leicester West as their 'make or break'.

"By backing Jeremy Corbyn's candidate in Leicester West, not only are they are endorsing his chaotic leadership, but threatening the future of our country.

"As a prominent local Vote Leave campaigner, I am backing the Theresa May plan to secure the best possible deal from Brexit. I will help strengthen the Prime Minister's hand at the negotiating table, and will work to make a success of Brexit locally. I strongly urge his candidate to publicly reject Open Britain's rhetoric and back democracy."

Ms Kendall insisted she was now simply intent on getting the best Brexit deal for the UK.