LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s Brexit Party said on Thursday that four of its elected members of the European parliament (MEPs) had left the party to support the governing Conservatives in the British election on Dec. 12.
The Brexit Party was set up in early 2019 by Nigel Farage, whose years of relentless campaigning against membership of the European Union played a major part in delivering the 2016 referendum, in which Britons voted to leave the bloc.
It performed strongly in the last European elections, held in May, but has fallen sharply in opinion polls since deciding not to contest seats held by Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservatives, to avoid splitting the pro-Brexit vote.
One of the four MEPs deserting the party is Annunziata Rees-Mogg, sister of high-profile cabinet minister and arch-Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg. Her decision to join the Brexit Party in April had been considered a coup for Farage.
“We need a strong Leave supporting government to deliver the Brexit 17.4m voted for. The Conservatives are the only option for Brexit supporters and democrats alike,” Annunziata Rees-Mogg said in a statement.
Reporting by Alistair Smout; Editing by Kevin Liffey