Sat. Apr 20th, 2024
alert-–-fretting-tory-mps-urge-rishi-sunak-to-give-nigel-farage-a-job-as-britain’s-ambassador-to-the-us-to-stop-him-spearheading-reform-uk’s-election-campaign-–-as-insurgent-party-now-lead-the-conservatives-among-working-class-votersAlert – Fretting Tory MPs urge Rishi Sunak to give Nigel Farage a job as Britain’s ambassador to the US to stop him spearheading Reform UK’s election campaign – as insurgent party now lead the Conservatives among working-class voters

Fretting Tory MPs have urged Rishi Sunak to name Nigel Farage as Britain’s ambassador to the US in order to stop him spearheading Reform UK’s election bid.

Conservatives are increasingly worried about Reform’s rise in opinion polls and fear Mr Farage’s return to frontline politics could turbocharge their growing popularity.

A latest YouGov poll put Reform on 16 per cent, within touching distance of the Tories on 21 per cent, while it also showed the insurgents leading among working-class voters.

Mr Farage has consistently refused to rule out mounting another bid to become an MP and a return as Reform’s leader ahead of the general election.

Tory MPs are now suggesting Mr Sunak should give Mr Farage the ambassadorship and a peerage in return for him not making a return to frontline politics.

The Government is expected to name a replacement for Britain’s current ambassador to the US, Dame Karen Pierce, in the coming weeks.

And Conservatives have claimed the Prime Minister should use it as an opportunity to utilise Mr Farage’s close links with Donald Trump, who could return as US president in November’s election.

Fretting Tory MPs have urged Rishi Sunak to name Nigel Farage as Britain's ambassador to the US in order to stop him spearheading Reform UK's election bid

Fretting Tory MPs have urged Rishi Sunak to name Nigel Farage as Britain’s ambassador to the US in order to stop him spearheading Reform UK’s election bid

Conservatives claimed the Prime Minister should utilise Mr Farage's close links with Donald Trump, who could return as US president in November's election

Conservatives claimed the Prime Minister should utilise Mr Farage’s close links with Donald Trump, who could return as US president in November’s election

Tories are increasingly worried about Reform's rise in opinion polls and fear Mr Farage's return to frontline politics could turbocharge their growing popularity

Tories are increasingly worried about Reform’s rise in opinion polls and fear Mr Farage’s return to frontline politics could turbocharge their growing popularity

One ‘Red Wall’ Tory told the i newspaper: ‘Rishi should do a deal with him to make him ambassador to the US in return for him agreeing not to stand for Reform.

‘He already has a great relationship with Donald Trump – he would make an excellent interlocutor between the two countries.

‘Bung him a peerage and make him ambassador is what I would do.’

Another Conservative frontbencher suggested Mr Farage should be handed a seat in the House of Lords in return for Reform – who were recently boosted by former Tory deputy chairman Lee Anderson defecting to their ranks – standing down all candidates at the election, just as the Brexit Party did in 2019.

‘I think it would be easier to do a deal saying we will make you a Conservative peer,’ the MP said.

But Mr Farage himself rejected the idea of any pact between him and the Tories ahead of the general election.

‘I am not for sale,’ he told the newspaper. ‘If the Conservative Party were sincere they would have sent me to the USA in 2017.’

And a Reform spokesman said: ‘What they are suggesting is a political bribe.

‘The Tories have been offering him those since about the year 2000. It didn’t work then, why would they think it might work now?’

A new YouGov poll for The Times showed, among ‘C2DE’ social classes, Reform is narrowly ahead of the Tories on 23 points to 22, although this was within the margin of error.

The survey also found Reform is ahead of the Tories in the north of England, 21-18, while the two parties are neck-and-neck in the Midlands on 21 per cent.

The two parties were in effect tied among voters aged 50-64.

Tory chairman Richard Holden last night failed to rule out the Tories trying to strike a deal with Mr Farage.

He told Sky News: ‘What Nigel Farage does and the Reform Party is completely up to them.

‘It’s quite clear that a vote for Reform, all it’s going to do is help Keir Starmer get into Downing Street.’

Mr Farage recently dropped the strongest hint yet he will return to frontline politics, while he also suggested Reform could merge with the defeated Tories after the general election.

In an interview with the Unherd website, Mr Farage – who currently fronts a GN News show – again addressed fevered speculation about his political future.

‘I honestly don’t know,’ he replied, when asked if he would return to frontline politics.

He added: ‘Life for me is pretty good. I’ve got a job that I love… I’m earning very good money, which I haven’t done for 30 years.

‘The kids are all grown up… getting back into politics means giving all that up. But maybe, just maybe.’ 

Pressed on why he was refusing to rule out a political return, Mr Farage said: ‘There’s a historic opportunity to really change things. I edge towards thinking that may be the case.’

But he also admitted he is still ‘very burnt’ by the 2015 general election when UKIP won almost four million votes but secured only one seat in the House of Commons.

Mr Farage has recently flirted with a return to the Conservatives, a party he quit more than 30 years ago following the signing of the Maastricht Treaty in 1992.

He insisted, should he stand at the general election, it would be for Reform, saying: ‘Of course. Oh absolutely.’

Yet he also again failed to rule out a return to the Tory fold – perhaps even as leader – after the general election. 

‘If Reform do well and get a lot of votes and a reasonable representation of seats — and the Tories do very badly — then something very big is coming afterwards,’ he said. 

At the 1993 Canadian election, the ruling Progressive Conservative Party of Canada suffered a near-wipeout in the face of a insurgent populist Reform Party of Canada.

These two parties later merged to form the modern-day Conservative Party of Canada.

Suggesting that a similarly dramatic realignment could soon occur in British politics, between the Tories and his Reform outfit, Mr Farage added: ‘Reform basically reverse took over the Conservatives and Stephen Harper became Prime Minister.

‘If there was a model, it’s Canada. If it’s doable, I don’t know. We’ll see.’

Mr Farage has previously urged unity on the right of British politics and admitted he and Tory MPs such as Sir Jacob Rees Mogg will some day ‘have to be in the same party’.