Nigel Farage has admitted he was offered a peerage by the Conservative Party after he announced he was standing down hundreds of candidates in Tory seats.

The former UKIP leader, 55, said he was putting "country before party" with his decision not to challenge the Tories in next month's General Election.

Instead, the Brexit Party leader said he was targeting Labour and Remainer seats in a bid to hand the election to Boris Johnson.

Speaking at a campaign event in Hartlepool, Farage denied his decision to give electoral support to the Tories was anything to do with him being offered a peerage on Friday night.

He said he was pulling 317 parliamentary candidates from seats held by Conservative MPs, as he switched his target to Labour-held constituencies instead.

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage has announced his party won't challenge in Conservative-run seats
Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage has announced his party won't challenge in Conservative-run seats

Farage said he changed his mind after watching a Twitter video from the Prime Minister in which he said the UK wouldn't extend a Brexit transition, due to end in December next year and seek a free trade agreement with Brussels.

Asked if he had been offered a peerage, he told The Mirror: "I was offered one last Friday.

"Ridiculous - the thought they can buy me, a high paid job - but I'm not interested, I don't want to know."

He also claimed he had been offered nothing in return for dumping hundreds of Brexit Party candidates.

Farage was speaking at a Brexit Party event in Hartlepool
Farage was speaking at a Brexit Party event in Hartlepool
Boris Johnson welcomed the announcement from the former UKIP boss
Boris Johnson welcomed the announcement from the former UKIP boss

"I think our action, this announcement today, prevents a second referendum from happening," Farage said.

Describing his new "Leave alliance", he said the decision would stop any chance of a second referendum on Britain's exit from the European Union.

In a statement posted later on his Twitter, account, he said: "I have decided to put country before party and not oppose Boris Johnson.

"This ensures that this general election will not result in a hung Parliament and second referendum.

The Brexit Party will instead concentrate on targeting Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party
The Brexit Party will instead concentrate on targeting Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party
Jo Swinson's Lib Dems are also looking to take seats off of Labour
Jo Swinson's Lib Dems are also looking to take seats off of Labour
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"We will target Labour and Remainer MPs and get a voice in Parliament to make the PM keep his promises."

It comes after Farage claimed the Brexit Party can "hurt Labour" and Jeremy Corbyn, as he announced he wouldn't be standing as an MP himself.

A jubilant Johnson welcomed Farage's "recognition that another gridlocked hung Parliament is the greatest threat to getting Brexit done."

Daily Star Online has approached the Conservative Party for comment.

Many Brexit Party supporters reacted angrily to Farage's statement.

Many Brexit Party supporters spoke out with disappointment after Farage's announcement
Many Brexit Party supporters spoke out with disappointment after Farage's announcement
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is campaigning for a second referendum
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is campaigning for a second referendum

One Twitter user commented: "You won't win any seats. You will just make Brexit less likely."

Another added: "There better be a Brexit Party candidate on my ballot paper or I'm voting Labour."

But others were more supportive, with one Tweeting: "First to actually do and not just say, well done big respect."

Brits will go to the polls on December 12 for the third time since 2015.