Will Nigel Farage join Reform UK’s election drive? The insurgent party launches today, with a Tory warning of potential targeting of right-wing MPs

Will Nigel Farage join Reform UK’s election drive? The insurgent party launches today, with a Tory warning of potential targeting of right-wing MPs

Reform UK Gears Up for Election Amid Farage Speculation

By James Tapsfield, Political Editor For Mailonline Published: 04:49 EST, 3 January 2024 | Updated: 06:09 EST, 3 January 2024

Reform UK is intensifying its election preparations, triggering widespread speculation about Nigel Farage’s potential return to the political forefront.

Party leader Richard Tice is scheduled to hold a press conference in London today, marking the commencement of political maneuvering leading up to a significant electoral showdown later this year.

Press Conference Focuses on Strategy and Labour Targeting

The event is anticipated to feature ‘guests’ and the unveiling of the party’s strategy, with a particular emphasis on targeting the Labour party.

However, uncertainty surrounds Farage’s attendance, and allies suggest a lack of anticipation for any dramatic developments.

Tice criticized Chancellor Rishi Sunak, asserting that there would be ‘no special deals’ for Conservative MPs, even if their views aligned with Reform UK’s.

He accused the government of betraying voters through uncontrolled immigration and declared the party’s intent to contest every seat in England, Scotland, and Wales.

Speculation and Concerns about Farage and Defections

Rumors persist about Nigel Farage’s potential comeback, fueled by his successful stint on I’m A Celebrity.

Additionally, whispers circulate regarding defections, with former Tory MP Peter Bone speculated to stand in the Wellingborough by-election.

Concerns within the Conservative party are rising, with fears that Reform UK could split the right-wing vote, potentially opening the door for Keir Starmer to lead a Labour government.

Farage’s Frustration and Conservative Responses

Nigel Farage expressed frustration with the government, emphasizing the escalating concern among voters about immigration.

However, he acknowledged his age and highlighted the 2015 success of his Brexit Party, which secured a million votes without winning any parliamentary seats.

Conservative deputy chairman Lee Anderson acknowledged Farage’s influence but labeled Reform UK as a ‘threat.’

Anderson warned that Reform UK’s impact could inadvertently lead to the country rejoining the EU, asserting that Farage’s return is crucial for the party to make significant ‘inroads.’

Potential Backing and Defections Discussed

Arron Banks, a key figure in funding Farage’s Leave EU campaign, revealed discussions with ‘five or six’ Tory donors willing to support Reform UK.

He hinted at the possibility of ‘a couple’ of Conservative MPs defecting, recalling Farage’s previous success in persuading two Tory MPs to join Ukip.

The evolving political landscape suggests that Reform UK’s election push could carry significant implications for the UK’s political future.

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