Peers add to Tories' EU woes

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TORY DIVISIONS over the single currency intensified when it emerged that six peers had given financial support to the UK Independence Party, which wants Britain to withdraw from the European Union.

The peers hope a poor Tory result in June's European poll will force the party to sack its leader, William Hague. This week the UK Independence Party said it was on course to win 20 seats in the election and that a MORI poll showed it could poach support and win 25 per cent of votes under proportional representation.

Disclosure of peers' support for the party is likely to concern the Tory leadership, already damaged by Michael Heseltine and Kenneth Clarke's support for Britain's early entry into the single currency.