‘I won’t do a deal with Boris’, says Farage as poll shows almost HALF of Tory members say they would be ‘happy’ if the Brexit Party founder joined their party and became LEADER
Published: 03:23 EDT, 18 June 2019 | Updated: 05:58 EDT, 18 June 2019
The Brexit Party leader said he had been approached by Conservative officials about working together to avoid splitting the Brexiteer vote.
It came as a new poll showed that almost half of Conservative members would be happy for Mr Farage to lead their own party.
Some 46 per cent of members surveyed by YouGov for the Times said that they would be happy if the former Ukip leader joined the party and landed the top job.
The shock numbers show just how divisive Brexit has become in politics, with the Tories languishing in fourth place in the polls.
The Brexit Party is currently in first place ahead of the Liberal Democrats, with Labour third.
Speaking to the Daily Express, Mr Farage said: ‘I’ve been approached by a couple of people. But why would I trust anybody in the Conservative Party?
‘If they really want to leave on October 31, they need to get on with it. All I can see at the moment is a rerun of March 29.
‘I can understand why they want to buy me off but the lack of trust means it’s not up for grabs.’
Mr Johnson has already played down the chances of an electoral pact with Nigel Farage’s party, which is ahead in the polls
Mr Farage said: ‘I can understand why they want to buy me off but the lack of trust means it’s not up for grabs’
The YouGov poll also revealed that 40 per cent of Tory voters would be ‘unhappy’ if Farage joined and became leader.
Allies of Mr Johnson had already ruled out a pact, saying yesterday he did not ‘need’ to do a deal with Mr Farage, despite the rising threat from his new party.
The arrangement could mean the Brexit Party does not field candidates against Tories they see as committed to making a clean break from the EU.
Brexit minister James Cleverly said if Mr Johnson became PM he would not need to do a deal with Mr Farage.
He told Biorports Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘I can’t see that is something he would want to do and it is not anything he would need to do.
‘He is able to win elections with Conservatives and Conservative support. He didn’t broach electoral pacts in London and I can’t imagine he would need to broach electoral pacts at this point.’