NIGEL Farage yesterday said he would be happy for members of his Ukip party to campaign for eurosceptic Conservative MPs – but categorically ruled out any chance of a formal alliance with the upstart grouping.
“There isn’t going to be a deal between us and the Conservative party at the next general election,” he told a fringe event organised by the Bruges Group. “Our voters wouldn’t want it and it would not be appropriate.”
“[The Conservative leadership] view us as being members of the lower orders. We are treated with contempt.”
But Farage said that he was “not an unreasonable person” and was willing to see discussions at a local level to ensure Conservative MPs who oppose Britain’s membership of the EU remain in their posts.
“If conversations take place at a local level, I am open minded to that,” he said. “Getting those MPs back into Westminster would be in the national interest.”
Farage was not allowed inside the main Tory conference and the party removed all mentions of him from the official event listings.
Farage said he was in Manchester to ask for Conservatives to lend their votes to Ukip for the May 2014 general election and “cause an earthquake in British politics”.
Polling presented to a ConservativeHome fringe event by former Tory treasurer Lord Ashcroft suggested that Ukip is taking votes from all mainstream parties, and not just the Conservatives.
“[Ukip voters] are hardly interested in any issues apart from immigration, Europe and defence,” he explained.