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Former Tory businessman revealed as Brexit Party candidate

By Alan McGuinness and Greg Heffer, political reporters

The Brexit Party has announced its candidate for the Peterborough by-election sparked by the first successful recall petition against a sitting MP.

Mike Greene, a former Conservative businessman who appeared on Channel 4's The Secret Millionaire, will stand for Nigel Farage's party on 6 June.

The 54-year-old wrote on Twitter: "I am proud to be taking on the challenge of standing for the Brexit Party and rebuilding trust in democracy."

He will not face a united pro-Remain effort after parties opposed to the UK's exit from the EU saw their talks over fielding a single anti-Brexit candidate break down.

Nigel Farage predicts 'a coalition against the people' from the Conservatives and Labour Farage challenged over Brexit Party funding

Mr Farage said: "Mike Greene is a fantastic candidate and a big achiever in life. Will be a great campaign!"

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Former Peterborough MP Fiona Onasanya, who became the first MP to be kicked out of the House of Commons through a recall petition, announced last week she would not be standing in the by-election.

The 35-year-old solicitor, who would have been permitted to stand under the recall rules, was convicted earlier this year of perverting the course of justice for lying about a speeding offence.

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More than a quarter of voters in the Cambridgeshire constituency signed the petition to remove her.

She won the Cambridgeshire seat for Labour with a narrow majority of 607 in the 2017 general election.

Fiona Onasanya MP Image: Fiona Onasanya was convicted of perverting the course of justice

Ms Onasanya was expelled from the party after being convicted, but remained in parliament as an independent until she was removed by the petition.

Former MP George Galloway announced he would be standing last week, but has now withdrawn after the Brexit Party's announcement.

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He said he had "tried to persuade" Mr Farage to support his candidacy to "emphasise the broad democratic alliance the campaign must be".

The Liberal Democrats, Green Party, Change UK and Renew had held talks on fielding a single pro-Remain candidate between them.

But their discussions concluded without agreement.

Change UK MP Gavin Shuker, who quit Labour to join the independent grouping in February, said: "We all agreed to stand down any candidates we might field in favour of a genuinely independent, pro-People's Vote and pro-Remain candidate who had expressed an interest and intention to stand.

"However, senior Labour figures, including senior figures campaigning for a People's Vote, made it clear that they would strenuously disrupt the campaign and obstruct an independent candidate, driven by fears that it would harm their party in Peterborough."

Sky News understands there will be no Change UK candidate in the Peterborough by-election.

Farage launches Brexit Party

The full list of declared candidates standing in the Peterborough by-election:

:: Labour: Lisa Forbes
:: Conservative Party: Paul Bristow
:: Liberal Democrats: Beki Sellick
:: Greens: Joseph Wells
:: Brexit Party: Mike Greene
:: Monster Raving Loony: Alan "Howling Laud" Hope
:: Social Democratic Party: Patrick O'Flynn
:: UKIP: John Whitby
:: English Democrats: Stephen Goldspink
:: UK European Union Party: Pierre Kirk
:: Independent: Andrew Moore
:: Common Good: Remain in the EU: Dick Rodgers
:: Christian Peoples Alliance: Tom Rogers
:: Independent: Bobby Smith
:: Renew: Peter Ward

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