The Cotswold Brexit Party candidate quit the General Election race as his members wanted to support Conservative candidate for Cheltenham Alex Chalk instead.

Peter Udale, who was the Brexit Party’s nominee in the Cotswolds until last week, said his members feared Brexit “would be lost” if they didn’t support Tory marginal seats, including Cheltenham, rather than safe Conservative seats such as the Cotswolds.

Mr Udale made the comments as Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage announced in a press conference today the group would not field 317 constituencies which voted Tory in 2017.

That means all but one seat in Gloucestershire, Stroud, won’t have a Brexit Party nominee on the ballot paper in the General Election on December 12.

Meanwhile, Brexit Party candidate for Gloucester Richard Ford said he has not received any communication from the group that he won’t be on the ballot paper next month, adding: “We knew something was afoot but nothing like this”.

Mr Udale said: “We had five or six constituency meetings and the big concern was we were in danger of giving away the achievement of Brexit. It was just too big a risk.

“We should be going for seats where the Conservatives have no chance of winning, not fighting marginal Tory seats. My members said they would prefer to support Conservative marginals like Cheltenham.

“Members were hugely relieved because they were worried they were going to have to make a choice which would lead a split in a Brexit vote.

“They were worried about the Tories, but even more worried about Jeremy Corbyn becoming Prime Minster.”

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, he added: "I believe that by far the biggest threat that currently faces this country is a government led by Jeremy Corbyn.

"I continue to support the Brexit Party in strong Labour constituencies where Leavers are unlikely to swing behind the Tories in large numbers."

"If he got into No10. he would undermine our economy, our defence and our union.