'It's war': Nigel Farage flatly rejects call from senior Tory for Ukip and Conservative EU pact at the general election

Farage dismissed Conservative party vice-chairman's suggestion that Ukip should not contest the election in return for a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union

Nigel Farage, the leader of the UK Independence Party, today flatly rejected a call from a senior Conservative for an electoral pact with the Tories at the general election.

He dismissed the suggestion from Michael Fabricant, a Tory party vice-chairman, that Ukip should not contest the election – in return for a firm promise from David Cameron for a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union.

The dramatic proposal – in a discussion paper by Mr Fabricant for the Prime Minister – was disclosed by The Independent today. The Tory vice-chairman even floated the idea of the Ukip leader being offered a post in a Conservative administration.

In his paper, Mr Fabricant wrote: “It is time to consider actively whether a rapprochement might be possible before the 2015 general election.”

But in a blunt response, Mr Farage tweeted: “No pact with Tories: it's war.”

He added: “Fabricant deal seems to be based on buying me off. UKIP is bigger than that”.

He went on: “I'm in politics because of my beliefs not because I'm a career politician like so many these days.”

Downing Street also reacted coolly to Mr Fabricant’s idea. A source said: “He does not speak for the party on electoral strategy. We will be standing in every seat. There is no thinking about a pact.”

Mr Fabricant told The Independent yesterday: “This pact could yield an additional 20 to 40 seats, perhaps more, in 2015 if Ukip cooperates. The alternative, which both David Cameron and Ukip will have to consider, might mean a more pro-European Union Labour Government.”

Mr Fabricant also argued that the dramatic move would enable the Conservative party to heal the wounds over Europe that have bedevilled it since the 1980s.

His intervention carried extra weight as Mr Fabricant played a key role in the Tory by-election campaign this month in Corby, where Ukip came a strong third with more than 5,000 votes.

The party is also expected to poll strongly in this week’s by-election in Rotherham after a blaze of publicity over its local council’s decision to remove three children from foster parents because they were Ukip members.

Since stepping down as a government whip two months ago, Mr Fabricant has been responsible on behalf of Conservative headquarters for strategy for fighting by-elections and marginal seats at the next election.

His candid comments will dismay party chiefs who publicly attempt to play down the significance of the steady surge in support for Ukip, much of which comes from disillusioned former Tory voters.

The Prime Minister once claimed that Ukip members were mainly “fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists”, but Mr Fabricant argued the two parties are now in tune with each other – and the voters – on the issue of Europe.

He says the Conservatives are now “constructively Eurosceptic” and points out that Mr Cameron enjoyed a surge in public popularity when he adopted a tough stance in negotiations last year in Brussels.

He added that the Ukip leader, Nigel Farage, is a “former Thatcherite who sounds like a Conservative, who looks like a Conservative and in other circumstances probably would be a Conservative”.

Mr Fabricant even suggested the Ukip leader should even be given a job in a future Tory administration. He said: “If some sort of deal could be brokered, I think we would be mad not to use the undoubted talents of Nigel Farage in government.”

Under his proposal, Mr Cameron would announce an in-out referendum on membership of the EU which would be binding if more than 50 per cent of voters took part – a threshold Mr Fabricant argues would be comfortably cleared given the potential interest in the issue.

“Such an offer would not be a sign of weakness by the Conservative party. It would be a pragmatic extension of existing philosophy from a party of Government. Moreover, this could mark the final rapprochement between warring brothers.”

Mr Farage recently said he would not contemplate a pact with the Tories unless it was given an absolute promise “written in blood” to stage a “proper referendum” on Europe.

The size of the Ukip vote was bigger than the Labour or Liberal Democrat majority over the Tories in some 20 parliamentary seats at the last election. Although not all of its support would have been picked up from previous Tory voters, Mr Fabricant admits: “Ukip’s threat lies in their being a major contributory factor in denying the Conservatives a win in marginal seats.”

He said: “The polls demonstrate it is the Conservative party which takes the biggest hit by a Ukip surge rather than the Lib Dems of the Labour Party.”

Mr Fabricant says the party had picked up an “anti-politics vote” as it became “more and more effective at its messaging, employing simple, effective explanations of their policies” and “tapping into frustration with career politicians”.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
Sport
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
Voices
A meteor streaks across the sky during the Perseid Meteor Shower at a wind farm near Bogdanci, south of Skopje, Macedonia, in the early hours of 13 August
voicesHagel and Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise, says Robert Fisk
News
peopleEnglishman managed quintessential Hollywood restaurant Chasen's
Life and Style
food + drinkHarrods launches gourmet food qualification for staff
Arts and Entertainment
Michael Flatley prepares to bid farewell to the West End stage
danceMichael Flatley hits West End for last time alongside Team GB World champion Alice Upcott
Life and Style
Horst P Horst mid-fashion shoot in New York, 1949
fashionFar-reaching retrospective to celebrate Horst P Horst's six decades of creativity
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
i100
Life and Style
Black Ivory Coffee is made using beans plucked from elephants' waste after ingested by the animals
food + drinkFirm says it has created the "rarest" coffee in the world
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie T plays live in 2007 before going on hiatus from 2010
arts + entsSinger-songwriter will perform on the Festival Republic Stage
Life and Style
food + drinkThese simple recipes will have you refreshed within minutes
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Service Desk Analyst- Desktop Support, Helpdesk, ITIL

£20000 - £27000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst- (Desktop Su...

Service Desk Analyst - (Active Directory, Support, London)

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst - (Active Di...

Junior Quant Analyst - C++, Boost, Data Mining

£30000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Quant Analyst - C++, Boost...

Junior Quant Analyst (Machine Learning, SQL, VBA)

£30000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Quant Analyst (Machine Lea...

Day In a Page

All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
What happens to African migrants once they land in Italy during the summer?

What happens to migrants once they land in Italy?

Memphis Barker follows their trail through southern Europe
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Frank Mugisha: Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked

Frank Mugisha: 'Coming out was a gradual process '

Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Florence Knight's perfect picnic: Make the most of summer's last Bank Holiday weekend

Florence Knight's perfect picnic

Polpetto's head chef shares her favourite recipes from Iced Earl Grey tea to baked peaches, mascarpone & brown sugar meringues...
Horst P Horst: The fashion photography genius who inspired Madonna comes to the V&A

Horst P Horst comes to the V&A

The London's museum has delved into its archives to stage a far-reaching retrospective celebrating the photographer's six decades of creativity
Mark Hix recipes: Try our chef's summery soups for a real seasonal refresher

Mark Hix's summery soups

Soup isn’t just about comforting broths and steaming hot bowls...
Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'

Tim Sherwood column

I would have taken the Crystal Palace job if I’d been offered it soon after my interview... but the whole process dragged on so I had to pull out
Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard admits he is still below the level of Ronaldo and Messi but, after a breakthrough season, is ready to thrill Chelsea’s fans
Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition