Farage on when he’d consider joining Tories
Nigel Farage has hinted he might be prepared to the Conservative Party after the next election despite fighting them for decades.
It comes after senior Tories, including Rishi Sunak, have this week hinted they would welcome the former Brexit Party and UKIP leader into the Conservatives if he wanted to join.
Speculation of a new alignment on the right has been rife at the conference this week after Mr Farage was one of the guests of honour on Dame Priti Patel’s table at a gala dinner on Sunday organised by critics of Rishi Sunak in the grassroots Conservative Democratic Organisation (CDO).
The two were then filmed dancing together at the GB News Party after Ms Patel used a keynote speech earlier in the week to publicly thank Mr Farage for his work on Brexit and standing candidates aside to help the Tories win the 2019 election.
Mr Farage has been barred from coming into the Tory conference for decades as leader of UKIP and the Brexit Party, but was allowed in for the first time since the 1980s this year on his GB News press pass.
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READ MORE: Rishi Sunak hints Nigel Farage would be allowed back into the Tory Party
Asked whether he would want to join the Conservatives now the door was opening, Mr Farage suggested he might.
He told Newsnight: “Let’s see what happens. They [the Conservatives] are going to lose the next election. There will then be the most enormous battle for ideas.
“If it became a real Conservative Party, I might think about it.”
Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg pronounced that Farage’s views “is broadly a Tory and always has been.”
He added: “I’m a friend of Nigel’s, I think he’s a very effective campaigner and I think most of his political views are views I share.”
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Asked about Farage joinng the Tories, Mr Sunak told GB News: “I welcome lots of people who want to subscribe to our ideals, to our values.”
Pressed whether that would extend to Mr Farage, he said: “Look, the thing I care about is delivering for the country and the more people as we’ve seen at this conference – we’ve had record attendance I think at this conference. Lots of energy, lots of engagement.”
But the Prime Minister’s hint that he would welcome Farage was not backed by his chairman Greg Hands.
He said: “I think he’s most recently been advocating voting for another political party, that is not consistent with being a member of the Conservative Party.
“He’s repeatedly for the last 30 years or more advocated voting for other political parties. I think he’s said he doesn’t want to see the Conservative Party succeed.”
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