Gordon Brown: Reject Nigel Farage’s ‘toxic nationalism’

Gordon Brown said Nigel Farage has led a "descent into the heart of darkness"

Thursday, May 30, 2019

The former Prime Minister Gordon Brown has urged Conservative Party leadership hopefuls to spurn Nigel Farage’s "toxic them-versus-us nationalism".

Speaking in Peterborough ahead of next Thursday’s by-election, Mr Brown said the Brexit Party leader was a “back-seat driver” in the race to replace outgoing leader Theresa May.

He said this was “not Farage’s Britain” and there are "two views of our future competing against each other”.

"To the next prime minister, and indeed to all candidates for the Tory leadership, I say you have a fundamental choice: to run against him or race to the bottom with him.”

He added: "We will never reunite as a nation unless we walk away from such intolerant nationalism.”

Mr Brown was hopeful of a Labour win despite the party’s poor showing in the European elections.

“What is now at stake is far bigger than Brexit: it is a fight against intolerance, prejudice, xenophobia and the manufacture of division.”

He said Mr Farage’s “intolerance does not represent us; in his prejudices he does not speak for the majority.”

The Brexit Party has fielded a candidate in next week’s by-election, in what’s expected to be a tight contest.

The vote was triggered when former Labour Whip Fiona Onasanya was jailed for perverting the course of justice.

Mr Farage referenced the seat earlier this week in a press conference celebrating the European election results.

However he admitted the party is “starting off from a weak position”.

“I am not going to predict victory, but I tell you what, we will run it damn close.”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and several Conservative Party leaders are expected to visit Peterborough before voters go to the polls on June 6.

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