Furious Nigel Farage today accused Boris Johnson of wanting to lose the election after an 11th-hour attempt at a Leave alliance appeared to have broken down.
The Brexit Party leader accused the Tory leader of wanting to lose as he dismissed calls for him to target just 40 key seats on December 12.
Backroom talks between Tories and the Brexit Party leader had been continuing after Mr Farage pulled out of all 317 Tory seats on Monday – but stayed in key marginals, potentially splitting the Brexit vote.
The Telegraph claims an offer was put forward in which the Brexit Party would target only 40 seats, in exchange for facing “paper candidates” from the Tories.
But Mr Farage angrily dismissed the suggestion, saying the Tories must stand down some candidates altogether.
Today he told the BBC: “If we stood in just 40 constituencies we wouldn’t because of the expenditure rules even be able to fight a campaign.
“But there were very clearly seats in which we are the lead challenger and there are other seats in which they are the lead challenger to Labour.
“And we could have done a deal on that basis.
“But the priority for the Conservative Party is they do not want the Brexit Party to get seats in Parliament.
“They’re rather risk not winning the election than have a Leave majority, a leave alliance.”
The deadline to nominate candidates is at 4pm today.
But the Brexit Party leader remains under pressure to withdraw even more candidates.
The Prime Minister has refused calls for a formal pact, claiming voting Conservative is the “only way” to get Brexit done.
Mr Farage has said he will field candidates in every Labour-held seat – in a move that could hamper Tory efforts to win a majority.
A Brexit Party source said: “At every election the Tories have upwards of 100 paper candidates.
“If this offer was made it was an offer of the status quo, in in other words, no offer at all.
“It looks like an attempt to portray the Brexit Party and Nigel Farage as unreasonable, despite the huge concessions that we have made, both on a policy and on the unilateral decision not to stand in the 317 Tory held seats.
“If the Tories are serious then this isn’t the way to show it.”