General Election 2015: Tories under pressure to spell out whether they could strike a deal with Ukip in a hung parliament

Both Mr Cameron and Chancellor George Osborne refused to rule out co-operating with Ukip

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The Conservatives are under growing pressure to spell out clearly whether they could strike a deal with Ukip in a hung parliament.

Nigel Farage described David Cameron as “somebody we can sit down with and talk to” in those circumstances, but insisted his party could never work with Labour because of its opposition to a referendum on EU membership.

Both Mr Cameron and Chancellor George Osborne refused to rule out co-operating with Ukip, prompting Labour to challenge the Prime Minister to reject the “poisonous proposition” of a deal with Mr Farage’s party.

The Tory chief whip Michael Gove slipped into German when he was asked about a possible arrangement with Ukip, saying: “Nein danke.”

However, the Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon, later took a more unequivocal line.

Asked if the Tories would be prepared to work if necessary with Ukip if necessary, he replied: “No. We have already said we are going for a majority government. We are not in the business of doing deals.”

 

Before the election Tory chiefs brushed off demands from some of their MPs and activists for informal local pacts with Ukip, which has eaten into Conservative support in many constituencies in the south and east of England.

Ukip’s two MPs are former Tory backbenchers and most of its top target seats, including Thanet South where Mr Farage is standing, are currently held by the Conservatives.

In a letter to Mr Cameron, the shadow Health Secretary, Andy Burnham, claimed it was clear the Tory leader was preparing to do a deal with Ukip and urged him to “come clean” on the subject.

“The real terms of a deal would see the end of the NHS as we know it,” Mr Burnham claimed.

“Your deal with Ukip is a poisonous proposition that would deny working people the care they rely on from a service they cherish.”

Mr Farage, who was considered to have performed strongly in Thursday night’s debate, ruled out a post-election deal with Mr Miliband, explaining: “He has said he will not give the British people a referendum on the great European question."

But the Ukip leader said the Prime Minister “at least has been forced into promising that, and so after the election he is somebody we can sit down and talk to”.

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