Will Nigel Farage be axed from Question Time election TV show? BBC is 'reviewing' his slot on election special after the Brexit Party pulled out of Tory seats

  • Brexit Party leader was being lined up for a 30-minute Question Time special 
  • BBC said to be reviewing decision after he dropped plan to fight 317 Tory seats
  • Corporation spokesman said today its programme plans were 'not finalised yet'

Nigel Farage could lose a prime time television slot next month after backing out of plans to stand in Tory seats at the election, it was reported today.

The Brexit Party leader was being lined up for a 30-minute Question Time special in the run-up to the December 12 vote because of his plans to field 600 candidates nationwide.

But after he bowed to pressure and decided not to stand in 317 Tory-held constituencies the BBC is reviewing its decision, the Times reported.

It came as the Tories soared into a 14 point poll lead after Mr Farage declared an election 'amnesty' - but the Brexit Party chief is defying pleas to go further. 

A spokesman for the broadcaster said today that its plans for election programmes were 'not finalised yet'. 

The Brexit Party leader was being lined up for a 30-minute Question Time special in the run-up to the December 12 vote

The Brexit Party leader was being lined up for a 30-minute Question Time special in the run-up to the December 12 vote

A new YouGov survey puts the Tories on 42 per cent and Labour on 28 per cent while support for the Brexit Party appears to have collapsed

A new YouGov survey puts the Tories on 42 per cent and Labour on 28 per cent while support for the Brexit Party appears to have collapsed 

If the cancellation is confirmed it will b a devastating blow for the publicity-hungry leader, who would have placed a lot of stock in being able to face the public directly.

Last week the BBC announced the programme as part of a raft of broadcasts, including a head-to-head between the Prime minister Boris Johnson and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

 At the time a corporation spokeswoman said: 'In the run up to the election, Nigel Farage, leader of the Brexit Party, is expected to take part in a 30 minute Question Time special and Sian Berry or Jonathan Bartley, leaders of the Green Party, will also feature on an audience focused special programme.'

The BBC has faced criticism and some mockery over the number of times Mr Farage has appeared on Question time, despite seven failed attempts to become an MP.

He is believed to have taken part in the weekly late-night debate show more than 30 times.

Mr Farage has brushed off calls from his own long term ally Arron Banks to 'save Brexit' by withdrawing from Labour-held marginals

Mr Farage has brushed off calls from his own long term ally Arron Banks to 'save Brexit' by withdrawing from Labour-held marginals

The impact of Mr Farage's decision to pull candidates from 317 seats on December 12 has been laid bare in the first survey since it happened. 

The Conservatives are now polling at 42 per cent, while Labour is back on 28 per cent. 

Brexit Party support plummeted six points on the equivalent YouGov research last week to just 4 per cent - reflecting Mr Farage's grudging endorsement of Boris Johnson's deal.

However, Mr Farage has brushed off calls from his own long term ally Arron Banks to 'save Brexit' by withdrawing from Labour-held marginals that the PM needs to win the overall majority he craves.   

The poll, carried out for the Times and Sky News, deliberately excluded the Brexit Party in the Tory-held seats where Mr Farage will not stand against Conservatives, explaining the drop in support. 

Will Nigel Farage be axed from election TV slot? BBC is 'reviewing' his slot on election special

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