POLITICS
07/05/2019 12:40 BST

Nigel Farage's Brexit Party 'Recruiting Candidates For Next General Election'

He said it had gained 88,000 members since it launched last month.

PA Wire/PA Images

The Brexit Party is recruiting candidates for the next General Election, Nigel Farage has revealed.

The former Ukip leader said he was “confident” that his newly-formed party would be ready to fight a General Election by September.

“We are, as of today, recruiting candidates to fight the next General Election,” Farage told journalists at a press conference on Tuesday.

“We are looking for 650 men and women and we want people with real-world experience – people who either in civic life or in business life have got some achievements under their belt,” he said. “It will be a very new kind of politics.”

A “rigorous” vetting process for candidates will begin in the next few weeks, Farage added.

Meanwhile, he said the Brexit Party – which has gained 88,000 members since it was launched last month – was in conversation with traditional Conservative Party donors.

While more than £2m – or 90% of the party’s funding – has been generated through membership fees, “that may be about to change”, Farage said.

“There are now a few much bigger donors – traditionally donors to the Conservative Party – who we are now in conversation with because they understand and realise that to fight a General Election seriously, we are going to need bucks.”

He later added that formerly loyal Tory donors are “asking themselves the question ‘what is the Conservative Party for, what purpose does it actually serve?’”.

The Brexit Party is expected to announce its candidate for the upcoming Peterborough by-election this evening, with the seat up for grabs after MP Fiona Onasanya – who was jailed in January after lying about a speeding offence – was removed by a recall petition.

It has reported that Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg’s sister Annunziata could be set to contest the seat on behalf of Farage’s party.