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PETERBOROUGH BY-ELECTION: Rees-Mogg? Farage? The Brexit Party Guessing Game

The by-election in Peterborough, triggered by the ousting of Fiona Onasanya by angry constituents by means of a Recall Petition will be the third crucial polling day after the local elections and the European Elections. It will be a chance (finally) for Brexiteers to send a new MP to Westminster, something that could prove decisive given the closeness of the Parliamentary votes on the Brexit process.

Most of the main parties have their candidates in place. Labour’s Lisa Forbes, who has stood for the seat previously, is the current bookies favourite. Paul Bristow, the Tory is down as third favourite and UKIP have selected former City Councillor John Whitby.

However, there is a Brexit Party shaped-hole currently. Nigel Farage’s Party is currently second favourite to take the seat but who that could entail being actually sent to Westminster remains a bit of a mystery.

Current press speculation is focused on Annunziata Rees-Mogg, Jacob’s sister. Ms Rees-Mogg is a former Parliamentary candidate for the Tories and is currently the lead candidate on the Brexit Party list in the East Midlands. If she were to be elected as both however, she would have to stand down as an MEP as the European Council decided in 2002 that being an MEP was “incompatible” with being a member of a national Parliament.

Nigel Farage has also been in the frame for the position but he has strenuously denied being interested in running. Why the delay? Well, here comes the most plausible explanation I have heard:

On Tuesday, the Brexit Party are holding a rally in Peterborough ahead of the EU elections. If they name a candidate for the by-election before then, the costs will count as part of the party’s by-election spending.

Whatever the answer is, we will soon know the answer…..so, watch this space.

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