Tories should consider UKIP pact, Michael Fabricant urges


Michael Fabricant: Nigel Farage has a lot of talent

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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 501.

    All UKIP members: You surely must admit, in all honesty, that your party has a serious image problem.

  • rate this

    Comment number 500.

    #451. Couldn't agree more.

    The electorate are not to blame for the kind of politics inflicted upon us but they are to blame for encouraging it by voting for it.

    Its depressing how people feel so powerless when all they have to do is boycott elections until the parties are forced to disband due to irrelevance. Then vote for MP's on merit alone.

  • rate this

    Comment number 499.

    5 Minutes ago
    "Nigel Farage SEEMS to genuinely care....."

    Like almost all politicians he seems to care, but actually doesn't give a t*** about anyone else.


    Sincerity is essential in a politician. Once you've learnt to fake that, you've got it made.

  • rate this

    Comment number 498.

    427. penguin337

    If the British People aren't allowed to decide then this ain't a democracy


    This ain't a democracy.

    As I recall, the majority of the British People (who bothered to turn up) did not vote Conservative, yet here we are...

    If you take into account voter apathy, 32% becomes just over 20% of us that actually voted Conservative...

    Yet here we are... a long way from democracy.

  • rate this

    Comment number 497.

    Ok. Lets simplify this. Labour are in for 12 years and spend all the money, plus a few hundred billion. We now have to pay this back. Our boarders are open to all, so we spend on those as well. People see this, and want to save their own jobs and see that money is saved. UKIP step in with solution. QED. Both Lab and Con need to listen to the people and act. No racism involved, just economics.

  • rate this

    Comment number 496.

    Re:#478 DPressed

    Yes of course, just like China. A communist dictatorship with human right issues, source of most counterfeit goods, the world's biggest polluter and currency manipulator.

    Scaremongering by EU supporters will not work. We will still be able to trade with the EU, just like the rest of the world does.

  • rate this

    Comment number 495.

    6 Minutes ago
    "only joking about bnp....ukip are my favoured choice though...anything but labour or liberals"

    A natural (Lord) Freudian slip perhaps? - don't worry you are not alone most people link the BNP with the true Tories, when they are allowed to express their true colours! A natural "life style choice" for Tories?

  • rate this

    Comment number 494.

    Having lost faith with the major parties, a protest vote is looking like quite an appealing option at the moment. At least with single issue parties it's clear to everyone exactly what you're voting for.

    I'd prefer a sweeping reform of what I consider to be a broken electoral system, bit I can't see that happening anytime soon.

  • rate this

    Comment number 493.

    Clegg's to the left of me, jokers to the right - here I am stuck in the middle with YOU. Cameron and the nasty party. lol becca.

  • rate this

    Comment number 492.

    Any party who wants to get in bed with the Tory party after this shambles of a coalition seriously needs their head examined. Although the Lib Dems have have done a good job of destroying their own credibility the Tories have shown that they will always want it 100% their own way and to hell with anyone else.

  • rate this

    Comment number 491.

    We have been talking about pulling out of the EU for far to long.

    Its about time we had the vote.

    The EU will never work the way they want, every country should be self governed from the people within that country not by people who think they know what is best who sit in Brussels.

    Greece can sort out their own problems, why should we pay for that?

  • rate this

    Comment number 490.

    Oh for heaven's sake, there will not be a "referendum after 2015" just a few politicians mouthing off about one. No mainstream politician, whatever party would risk Britain leaving the EU...its their career security...ask Mandleson, Kinnock, Brittain, Patten etc etc. It will go the way of Blair's 1997 promise of a referendum on UK Euro membership in his second term...12th of Never more like.

  • rate this

    Comment number 489.

    Even Cameron knows UKIP are essentially a racist group; duping gullible protest voters with the illusion of offering a vote on leaving europe.
    The tories are happy to lose that element of their party, but are now getting desperate for support. The europe issue is the greatest threat to tory party unity so they can't ally with UKIP.

  • rate this

    Comment number 488.

    British Politics is just so frustrating.

    For the taxpaying voting public British Politics goes beyond frustration.

    For Banks, Businesses & Corporations life is good, taxes are avoided and Directors/Bankers wealth surges upwards.

  • rate this

    Comment number 487.

    Surely a pact between UKIP and the BNP would make far more sense. They're virtually the same party.

  • rate this

    Comment number 486.

    Just how thick do you think we are?
    All you have to do is hold a referendum early next year and act upon the inevitable result. That way UKIP will be rendered obsolete in a single stroke and the next election will be in the bag. Until that happens , my vote goes to UKIP , after a lifetime of voting Conservative.

  • rate this

    Comment number 485.

    Forget political allegiance, stop shouting racist every time someone questions immigration & let common sense rule over idiotic political correctness

    Then consider this

    Health, education, water, housing, energy & identity are all suffering because we are over-populated with a high proportion of immigrants & are under-resourced

    As they say, the 1st step in resolving a problem is to understand it

  • Comment number 484.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this

    Comment number 483.

    UKIP & BNP both more than just a bit worrying but less worrying than Labour and Conservatives who actually hold the power and won't use it to the advantage of the majority of the electorate once they're elected. Broken promises, so many U turns from both of them they've completely lost direction. Selective Deafness is endemic in MP's...they don't want to hear the voice of the plebs and bigots

  • rate this

    Comment number 482.

    Go on the UKIP website, and you'll note there's plenty of 'non-white' suporters of its policies and views. It is a non-rascist, "libetarian" party. UKIP wants to put a stop to is the unfettered, out-of-control immigration we have suffered over the past 8 years. And we HAVE suffered - like the Slovak I know who's a hospital porter, but has 5 children. So any tax he pays is swallowed by child bens.


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