Boris Johnson: Conservative MPs defecting to Ukip must be "utterly nuts"

Guy Bentley
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Boris tells Tories to stick with Cameron (Source: Getty)

London Mayor Boris Johnson has blasted Tory MPs thinking about defecting to Ukip as "utterly nuts".

Writing in the Telegraph, Johnson warned Conservative defectors could help the country "sleepwalk into a Labour government". The comments came after two Conservative MPs crossed the floor to Nigel Farage's eurosceptic party.

The first was MP for Clacton Douglas Carswell, who resigned his seat to force a by-election. Over the weekend, Mark Reckless announced his defection at the Ukip conference in Doncaster.

A favourite of the Tory grassroots and a possible leadership contender in a post-Cameron Conservative party, Johnson appealed to the Conservative parliamentary party to support the Prime Minister:

I know that you disagree vehemently with most of what Ed Miliband says and does - and so I must urge you not to allow the disaster of a Miliband premiership.

If you really want to let this country sleepwalk into a Labour government, then that is your prerogative. You can close your eyes and let it happen. You kip if you want to; the rest of us are going to fight and win.

Tories will hope a series of eye-catching policies will draw attention away from a disastrous weekend defection and a ministerial resignation. Adding to the party's woes, one of the oldest Conservative think tanks decided to boycott the conference.

The Bow Group argued the conference did little to engage grassroots Conservatives and was too focused on corporate lobbyists and maintaining the party line.

Chairman Ben Harris-Quinney said:

Party conference season should be a critical, indispensable time in the British political calendar for the nation’s most prominent political movements to come together.

Interestingly enough, instead of attending party conference the Bow Group will be launching a manifesto with none other than Boris Johnson.

Chancellor George Osborne is set to announce that the so-called "death tax" on pensions will be abolished next April.

The scrapping of the 55 per cent tax will benefit an estimated 320,000 people a year with defined benefit pension contributions. The Treasury will lose around £150m as a result.

Yesterday, Osborne revealed a future Conservative government will cut the total amount of benefits a family can receive from £26,000 to £23,000.

Furthermore, young people out of work for more than six months could be cut off from jobseeker's allowance (JSA). Instead of JSA, 18-21 year olds will receive a "youth allowance" and would be required to do "community projects.

Speaking to the Mail on Sunday, Osborne said:

We are saying you will receive an allowance but if you can't find work after six months, you will have to work for the dole.

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