Tory members would choose me as leader, says Nigel Farage

Nigel Farage has said Conservative members would choose him as their leader over Rishi Sunak, after Reform UK had its best ever by-elections.

Mr Farage, Reform’s honorary president, said he would “have to” eventually end up in the same party as Conservative MPs like Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg.

Reform scored double-digit vote shares for the first time in both Kingswood and Wellingborough by-elections. The Conservatives said Reform UK “want to see Keir Starmer in Downing Street”.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Conservative Party Chairman Richard Holden said: “Their ambition is to block Conservatives winning seats. Mr Farage told BBC Radio 4’s The World at One: “I think if you ask Tory party members right now they’d vote for me to be leader and not Rishi Sunak.”

Despite winning over the majority of Tory MPs, Mr Sunak lost a vote among party members the last time he tried – with 58% backing Liz Truss to become leader.


Mr Sunak eventually prime minister six weeks later, when Ms Truss and Boris Johnson pulled out of the race to replace her. Mr Farage said the Conservatives were doing badly because of their failure in government, not because of Reform.

And he insisted there was “zero prospect” repeating the Brexit Party’s 2019 deal with the Conservatives – which saw them withdraw candidates in hundreds of Tory target seats – to help keep Labour out of power.

In his role as a GB News presenter, Mr Farage has been a regular sight at Tory events, where he has been feted by many right wingers for his role in delivering Brexit.

He began his political journey as a Conservative but quit the party in the early 1990s over its then pro-European stance – but has spoken about returning to the fold, if the party shifts further to the right.

“Maybe after the Tories lose heavily they’ll rethink what they actually stand for. What we do need in this country is a centre right government,” he told the BBC..

“At some point in time people like myself and Jacob Rees-Mogg have to be in the same party – whether that’s Reform, whether that’s the Conservatives, whether that’s something new. Logically, that wing of the party and Reform have to be on the same team.”

Speaking after the by-elections, former cabinet minister Sir Jacob said the Conservatives needed to focus on appealing to voters who had turned to Reform, adding that there was “a lot of common ground” between the two parties. But Sir Jacob, insisted his support for Mr Sunak’s leadership was “solid

Source: BBC

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