Ukip targets support of City Eurosceptics

UKIP is making a direct pitch to leading City figures and hopes the recently launched Business for Britain campaign will make it easier to convince top businessmen to join the party, it has emerged.

Yesterday a Ukip spokesperson told City A.M. that the party is now regularly entertaining City grandees who are considering lending their support because “we now look like a serious operation”.

Over the weekend it was revealed that hedge fund giant Crispin Odey has hosted a dinner for Nigel Farage and well-known Schroders’ fund manager Andy Brough has switched his support to Ukip.

The Ukip spokesperson said such prominent backers were making a real difference: “The more people you’ve got who are prepared to put their head above the parapet then the more people they bring along.”

He also suggested that the existence of Business for Britain, the cross-party campaign to renegotiate the UK’s relationship with Europe, provided another opportunity to pitch to Eurosceptic entrepreneurs.

“[The businessmen] have heard the rhetoric from this government over the last few years and what has happened since is they’ve seen the transfer of regulatory authority from London to Brussels. They simply don’t trust them anymore,” he said.