Tories demand 'Remainer alliance' is investigated over 'undemocratic' anti-Brexit pact in 60 seats
26th January 2022

THE Tories have called on an election watchdog to probe the Remainer pact over claims it is breaking the law.

Leaders of the Lib Dems, Greens and Plaid Cymru have announced plans not to run candidates against each other in 60 seats in an effort to keep out the Tories and Labour.


But Tory chairman James Cleverly has written to the electoral commission accusing the group of failing to register a third-party campaigner, The Telegraph reports.

Mr Cleverly also claims Unite to Remain breached third party spending limits and failed to publish their donations.

He told the commission: “I urge you to urgently investigate the activities of Unite to Remain and ask what pre-emptive measures can be considered to prevent a potential serious breach of electoral law.”

But Unite to Remain director Peter Dunphy has dismissed the claims.

He said the group has complied with all Electoral Commission’s rules and guidance, including applying to register as a third-party campaigner.

I urge you to urgently investigate the activities of Unite to Remain and ask what pre-emptive measures can be considered to prevent a potential serious breach of electoral law.

The group's deal will see Lib Dems get a clear run in 43 seats – while Jo Swinson’s party will make way in 10 constituencies for Green Party candidates.

Plaid will step aside in seven Welsh constituencies.

Thirty two seats are being targeted by the Lib Dems – some of which are held by high profile figures in the party including former Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, a leading Brexiteer, Zac Goldsmith and Alun Cairns, who recently quit as Welsh Secretary.

Critics predicted it will have a limited impact, pointing out the Lib Dems are on course to win a third of the constituencies involved anyway.


Unite to Remain has been slammed by top Conservatives who said voters would be “angry” at being deprived of a genuine choice in those seats affected.

Senior Tory Nigel Evans said: “It’s incredible, but then the election is all about stopping Brexit and they’re throwing everything else to the wolves in order to do that. It’s not about their beliefs.

“If I was a Lib Dem in an area that just lost their candidate, or a Green that’s just lost their right to vote for their party, they may feel angry.

“I call it a rotten Remainer alliance. Its anti-democratic and it’s against what the British people voted for.

“I don’t think the Lib Dems are going to do as well as they think because there are a lot of democrats out there.”

Mr Evans added that Brexit Party candidates should “wake up” and “pull the plug” in seats where the Tories are vulnerable or there will be a “heavy price”.

The Remain Alliance also ran into fierce criticism from Labour candidates, who pointed out several of the seats being targeted are held by strong second referendum campaigners.

Senior Labour politician Wes Streeting fumed: “A ‘Remain Alliance’ that targets Labour people with impeccable pro-European credentials is nothing of the sort.”

The group said it had invited Jeremy Corbyn to take part but was rebuffed by members of his frontbench team.



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Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said: “We will never enter pact, coalitions, or deals like that. Ever

“I’d just say this to those Greens and others who are getting into bed with the Lib Dems – I remember what the Lib Dems did when they were in government.”

It was set up by Tory rebel Heidi Allen, who insisted that the upcoming election was Remain’s “last chance to change the path that this country is currently on”.

She said: “With a single Remain candidate in each of these seats, we can deliver a greater number of MPs into parliament.

“This is our opportunity to tip the balance of power away from the two largest parties and into the progressive Remain alliance.”

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