The Brexit Party is set to withdraw its parliamentary candidates in Dorset as leader Nigel Farage announced the party will not stand in Tory constituencies.

In an election boost for Boris Johnson, Mr Farage declared that, out of fear of splitting the pro-Brexit vote in the upcoming general election, the Brexit Party would not field candidates in constituencies won by the Conservative Party in 2017.

All parliamentary constituencies in Dorset were won by the Tories in that election.

Rosie Darkin-Miller, who had been due to stand for the Brexit Party in West Dorset, said: “I can confirm that I will not be standing as a Brexit Party candidate in the upcoming general election. Nigel Farage has made a decision to stand down candidates in seats won by the Conservative Party at the last election. This follows additional assurances made by the Prime Minister about the type of deal that he is aiming to agree with the European Union, and the immovability of the transition period deadline. I would like to extend my thanks to all of the supporters who have helped during the campaign.

“I appreciate that Nigel’s decision will have disappointed a lot of electors who planned to vote for the Brexit Party at the upcoming elections. Nigel has decided that the best chance of success lies in focusing our efforts on those Labour leave seats that will never vote Conservative. We can then hold Boris Johnson to account from within Parliament, and ensure that the Conservatives keep their promise to effect a free trade agreement and take us out of the EU by 31 December 2020.”

Other candidates for the Brexit Party who had been announced included Tim Page for North Dorset.

The Brexit Party was launched earlier this year to campaign for Britain’s departure from the European Union. The party, advocating a no-deal Brexit, won the most seats at this year’s European Parliament election.

In the 2016 EU referendum, all of Dorset’s regions voted to leave the union. 61 per cent of those who went to the polls voted leave in Weymouth and Portland, while 51 per cent did so in West Dorset. 52 per cent voted leave nationwide.