December 10, 2019 11.49 am This story is over 23 months old

Why the Lincoln Brexit Party candidate quit

He stood down as a candidate last night

The candidate for The Brexit Party in Lincoln, Reece Wilkes, has said a vote for him at the General Election would “split the vote” and potentially “frustrate Brexit”.

In a letter to party leader, Nigel Farage, on Tuesday, December 9, he said that ballots cast for him would be “better invested” in the Conservative candidate, Karl McCartney.

Mr Wilkes made a shock announcement after The Lincoln Debate last night that he will quit his campaign to become the city’s next MP.

Instead, he endorsed Mr McCartney ahead of polling day on Thursday, December 12.

In his letter, he said that he made the decision following e-mails from Daily Mail readers calling for him to stand down.

“I found many of the arguments submitted highly persuasive,” he said.

“It has become clear to me, down on the ground in Lincoln, that by failing to back the Conservative candidate who is pro-Brexit, I will split the vote and inadvertently assist in getting a remainer Labour MP back into Parliament.”

He added that it was “quite clear” that Mr Farage felt that the party could not win Lincoln, but understood why he had visited areas such as Grimsby.

“However, it simply does not inspire confidence in many supporters I have had asking me why you have not come to Lincoln during the election,” he said.

Although he has decided to quit his campaign, Mr Wilkes will still appear on the ballot paper on Thursday.

Reece Wilkes, the Brexit Party candidate for Lincoln. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Mr Wilkes took part in the Lincoln Debate last night, which was hosted by The Lincolnite and BBC Radio Lincolnshire.

He answered questions on Brexit, the NHS and revealed that he was homeless at age 17 and called for more accommodation for rough sleepers.

The Brexit Party have been approached for comment.

Polls open at 7am on Thursday for the General Election, you can find all seven candidates appearing on the Lincoln ballot paper below:

  • Karen Lee – Labour
  • Karl McCartney – Conservative
  • Caroline Kenyon – Liberal Democrat
  • Reece Wilkes – The Brexit Party
  • Charles Shaw – Liberal Party
  • Sally Horscroft – Green Party
  • Rob Bradley – Independent

Also watch again The Lincoln Debate here

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