Tories should consider UKIP pact, Michael Fabricant urges


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David Cameron should consider a pact with UKIP, his elections adviser says.

Michael Fabricant suggests offering an in/out referendum on UK membership of the EU if UKIP promises not to stand against Tory candidates in 2015.

But No 10 said Mr Fabricant "did not speak for the party on this issue.... the safest way to protect Britain's interest is to vote Conservative".

UKIP leader Nigel Farage said it was "difficult" to envisage a pact while David Cameron was Conservative leader.

In an internal report to the prime minister the senior MP, who oversees campaigns on the ground, details the threat that UKIP now poses and says the party is costing the Tories votes in crucial marginal constituencies.

'Open debate'

He says an electoral pact with UKIP - in which the Conservatives would promise a referendum after 2015 and in return UKIP would not stand against Tory candidates - could help the Conservatives win an extra 20-40 seats at the next election.

Start Quote

If someone pragmatic, grown-up and sensible like Michael Gove was leader, then you might think we could sit round the table and have a proper discussion”

End Quote Nigel Farage UKIP leader

He told the BBC he wanted "an open debate" about the issue and no decision would have to be taken before 2014 at the earliest.

"There is clear evidence that some Conservative votes are to going to UKIP," he told the BBC. "That is not very logical because the best deal, if you want a good deal in Europe, is to vote Conservative.

"The trouble is some people are not doing that. They think that they can get a better deal by voting UKIP."

He rejected suggestions that talk of a pact was a sign of Conservative weakness or an attempt to put pressure on the prime minister over an EU referendum. "I am coming from a position of strength. I am not talking losing votes but about gaining votes and gaining seats."

He acknowledged such a deal would be "unpopular" with the Lib Dems - who are governing in coalition with the Conservatives until 2015 and oppose an in-out referendum - and therefore "the timing of any such declaration would be critical".

Mr Fabricant, who was a whip until leaving the government in September's reshuffle, believes the move could help secure the Conservatives a majority after the next election.

'Written in blood'

Earlier this year, UKIP leader Nigel Farage said he was open to the idea of a pact but demanded a referendum pledge "written in blood".

Start Quote

With great respect to the "in-outers", I don't think it does boil down to such a simple question”

End Quote Boris Johnson Mayor of London

But on Monday, he said he did not really trust Mr Cameron to deliver a referendum and urged him again to retract comments made in a 2006 interview in which he described some UKIP members as "closet racists".

"It is very difficult to see how you could ever do a deal with someone who was consistently rude about you," he told the BBC's Daily Politics.

While UKIP and the Conservatives had fundamental differences on policy, Mr Farage said he would be more inclined to talk to the Conservatives if they had a different leader.

"Cameron is the major obstacle," he added. "If someone pragmatic, grown-up and sensible like Michael Gove was leader, then you might think we could sit round the table and have a proper discussion."

'Fresh consent'

A Downing Street source said: "Michael Fabricant does a great job campaigning in by-elections but he doesn't speak for the party on this issue.

"The safest way to protect Britain's interests is to vote Conservative. That's why we'll have Tory candidates in every seat at the next election."

The prime minister has committed to seeking what he called "fresh consent" in a national vote but he has so far resisted the idea of an in/out referendum.

Mr Cameron has received backing for his position from Mayor of London Boris Johnson.

Mr Johnson previously suggested he was in favour of an in/out referendum at the "right moment" but he told the BBC on Sunday he now believed the issue was not as "simple" as that.

"I don't think it is as simple as 'yes/no' now," he told Radio 5 Live's Pienaar's Politics. "Suppose Britain voted tomorrow to come out, what would actually happen.

"We would still have huge numbers of staff trying to monitor what is going on (in the EU), only we would not be able to sit in the Council of Ministers and we would not have any vote at all. Now I don't think that is actually a prospect that is likely to appeal.

"With great respect to the "in-outers", I don't think it does boil down to such a simple question."


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  • rate this

    Comment number 341.

    It is time to move away from the mainstream parties and the media who are all in tune with each other. Forget a deal with UKIP and Tories, people have lost faith in the major parties. The BBC will continue to marginalise so called fringe parties, using politically meaningless terms like far right or extremists, and play the race card mindlessly, but this suggests we need an independent media.

  • rate this

    Comment number 340.

    Before any pact emerges we will need to know more about the UKIP 'fruitcakes' links with their neo Nazi friends in Europe. Has the small rise in support for 'the racist bigots' - David's view - have anything to do with the demise of the BNP?

  • rate this

    Comment number 339.

    271.Name Number 6
    They Tories are going to take a hammering at the next election anyway so it's quite irrelevant what UKIP do.
    By who exactly? Not labour, the party of complete morons who got this country bankrupted & left anyone following a financial mess that only austerity could solve!
    When are you lefty fools going to realise this!

  • rate this

    Comment number 338.

    @295.mechanicalCogbill: "Given the damage EU Membership causes to the competitiveness of the UK (resulting in job losses, reduced growth, increased taxes and lower prosperity for all), why would any smart, educated person not vote UKIP?"

    All of which is half-truths and misinformation. UKIP propaganda to one side, the UK economy is far more complex than the mantra of: "Let's all blame Europe".

  • rate this

    Comment number 337.

    Do you just want us just out the EU, out of the Council of Europe or out of both?
    If we leave will we just end up re-signing as a non-member state to the... etc

    lol, funny stuff
    Prevarication and obfuscation isn't a policy

    Just shut up and give the British People a Referendum

    As my old boss used to say:
    "Don't bring me problems.
    Bring me solutions."

    I don't care which way we vote btw

  • rate this

    Comment number 336.

    UKIP would be stupid to be the Tories next Trojan Horse, they'll lose their good name like Lib-Dems did when the Tory-boys pursue their fanatically anti-working class agenda even further.

    We have a possible 6 more years austerity, in which workers lose jobs only to find no welfare safety-net left - we need a party to get us out that downward spiral, not another mask for the Tories to hide behind.

  • rate this

    Comment number 335.

    Lots of people have been saying this for a while.

    The centre right vote is being split & the Conservatives are haemoraging votes because of their liberal centrist policies. Cameron is without doubt stubbornly leading us to a Labour victory at the next election if he doesn't do a deal.

    Most UKIP voters are really disaffected Conservative.

  • rate this

    Comment number 334.

    326. Vboulderer

    So you are calling me a facist for having serious doubts about whether a left wing establishment is what is best for the country?

    What does that make you?

  • rate this

    Comment number 333.

    If a left wing faction were to take up residence in the Labour Party there would be whispers of a Party within a Party. Why should it be tolerated in a declining Tory Party.

  • rate this

    Comment number 332.

    These guys can wheel, deal, tweet and plot as much as they like. The thing is, we don't particularly like any of the "choices" we have - hence the existence of the coalition, the low turnout for a shambolic and unpopular police governance policy, etc.

    Fact is, these people offer only the illusion of choice and the UK public are onto them.

  • rate this

    Comment number 331.

    The anti-EU brigade want to throw the rattle out of the pram, they're too dim to understand they can vote in EU Parliament elections. Sad but true, there is no limit to the stupidity of some people.

  • rate this

    Comment number 330.

    ".....Ordinary people are sick of the old parties' self-serving, career politicians who just play party politics...."

    Nigel Farrage worked in the financial sector before he gave it up to become an, er, career politician.
    But let's not let facts stand in the way of a good old EU bashing session.

  • rate this

    Comment number 329.

    They want to be carefull, Tory party member foster parents could finish up losing their kids!

  • rate this

    Comment number 328.

    If foreign companies want to trade with the EU, would they setup their factories in an EU country or in non EU country? A lot of foreign companies have been given assurances by Britain that it will remain in the EU. Will these companies remain in Britain? Well the one I am working for will leave. To believe that the British economy will not be adversely affected by leaving the EU is very foolish.

  • rate this

    Comment number 327.

    Perhaps if politicians spent less time playing the Game of Thrones they could replace fantasy with the reality of serving the public interest for a change.

    Or is that too radical a concept?

  • rate this

    Comment number 326.

    'I have a fear almost to the point of being a paranoid conspiracy theorist about socialism being established in the UK through the backdoor'.

    Having read you post I would suggest you have already passed the point of being a paranoid conspirasist. What you suggest sounds like facism through the front door!

  • rate this

    Comment number 325.

    The only wasted votes in any general election are the votes the "winning candidate" gets more than they need.

    With our "democratic" system the only protest option we have is to make MPs understand that they need to serve the people and not party politics and themselves - we do that by making "winning" margins as small as possible.

    Vote anything other than the "main" parties.

  • rate this

    Comment number 324.

    The major parties have lost all crediblity, I have voted UKIP in the last couple of elections, local & national, but having read recently that Nigel Farage was prepared to prop up a coalition with the Tories should the need arise has dismayed me, there is no way I would vote UKIP to help Tories give us another five years of pointless austerity, too many lies & broken promises.

  • rate this

    Comment number 323.

    Mainline UK Political Parties are hell bent on a Federal Europe, because Germany will agree nothing less and are gambling the viability of the entire European economy on the Euro to meet that goal. The British people do not want and have never asked to be a State within a United States of Europe. We are told we must be in the EU, but WHY?

  • rate this

    Comment number 322.

    The Tories are closet idiots

    I don't beleive they are idiots as such. I beleive they are Business people, as were Labour before them with sole interest in Businesses, Banks & Corporations while the voting UK public are treated as human cash points to fund their schemes. Rich get richer while poor are made to pay.


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