European election results 2014: David Cameron calls Nigel Farage a 'supremely tactical politician' who wants to 'destroy' the Conservatives
Prime Minister turns up the rhetoric against Farage, and Boris Johns brands the Ukip surge a "peasant's revolt"
David Cameron has launched a full-blown attack against Nigel Farage, describing the Ukip leader as a “supremely tactical” and “consummate politician” on a mission to “destroy the Conservative party”.
Speaking on Radio 4’s Today programme this morning, the Prime Minister drew the battle lines and said he refused to accept Mr Farage’s image as a “normal bloke down the pub”,
He pointed to controversies over Mr Farage’s expenses from Brussels and his wife’s position on the taxpayer funded payroll as evidence the leader was not a man of the people.
He also firmly dismissed the idea of a Conservative-Ukip pact as little more than a “great myth”.
“I don’t see any prospect of [a pact] happening, from what I read in the Sunday newspapers Nigel Farage wants to destroy the Conservative party not to work in tandem with it,” Mr Cameron said.
He added: “Ukip themselves said in their pre-election email to everyone this is your chance for a free hit. General elections aren’t a free hit, they have real consequences on who is governing your country for the next five years.
“The European parliament is important but people do see it as an opportunity to send a message, and a variety of messages to the Government.”
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Fellow Conservative Boris Johnson also rallied to Mr Cameron’s side, characterising Ukip as “pitchfork-wielding populists” on a “peasant’s revolt” in his Daily Telegraph column today.
The Mayor of London wrote: “There is a kind of peasants’ revolt going on, a jacquerie. From Dublin to Lublin, from Portugal to Pomerania, the pitchfork-wielding populists are converging on the Breydel building in Brussels – drunk on local hooch and chanting nationalist slogans and preparing to give the federalist machinery a good old kicking with their authentically folkloric clogs.”
He added that the three main parties had been "figuratively slapped in the face with a wet kipper".
Some members of the Liberal Democrats, who slumped to fifth place in yesterday’s European Election, are calling for party leader Nick Clegg to quit.
The party’s federal executive Martin Tod has insisted that voters were “not prepared” to listen to Mr Clegg, branding the elections a “disaster” for the party.
But Treasury Chief Secretary Danny Alexander said that "plunging the party into a period of introspection" was not the right response to the results.
And Labour, who increasing its number of MEPs by seven to 20, are facing questions as to whether Mr Miliband should match David Cameron’s promise of an EU referendum.
Frank Field, Labour MP for Birkenhead and a supporter of a referendum, said on Sunday: “The greatest challenge Ukip poses is to Labour. If we are to win next year, it will be Ukip that becomes our main opposition”.
But allies of Mr Miliband made clear that there was “absolutely no prospect” he would change his stance on Europe.
Nigel Farage, the Ukip leader, said that Ukip’s victory in the European elections would “terrify” the older parties.
He added that the European result marks “the most extraordinary result in 100 years”.
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