'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
Voices
voicesMoyes' tragedy is one the Deputy PM understands all too well, says Matthew Norman
Arts & Entertainment
Such tweet sorrow: Will's gone digital
arts
News
Matthew Mcnulty and Jessica Brown Findlay in 'Jamaica Inn'
mediaHundreds complain over dialogue levels in period drama
Arts & Entertainment
Rocker of ages: Chuck Berry
musicWhy do musicians play into old age?
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Arts & Entertainment
With Jo Joyner in 'Trying Again'
tvHe talks to Alice Jones on swapping politics for pillow talk
News
Jilly's jewels: gardener Alan Titchmarsh
peopleCountry Life magazine's list of 'gallant' public figures throws light on what it means to be a gentleman in the modern world
Sport
John Terry goes down injured in the 70th minute
sportAtletico Madrid 0 Chelsea 0: Blues can finish the job at Stamford Bridge, but injuries to Terry and Cech are a concern for Mourinho
Student
student
News
<b>Rebecca Adlington</b>
<br />This, the first British swimmer to win two
Olympic gold medals in 100 years, is the eversmiling
face of the athletes who will, we're
confident, make us all proud at London 2012
peopleRebecca Adlington on 'nose surgery'
Arts & Entertainment
tvJudge for yourself
Life & Style
tech
Life & Style
Tough call: is the psychological distress Trott is suffering an illness? (Getty)
healthJonathan Trott and the problems of describing mental illness
Life & Style
23 April 2014: Google marks St George's Day with a drawing depicting England's patron saint slaying a fire-breathing dragon
tech
Life & Style
On the dogwalk: a poodle on the runway during a Mulberry show in London
fashionThe duo behind Asos and Achica have launched a new venture offering haute couture to help make furry companions fashionable
News
peopleEmma Appleton says photographer said he would shoot her for magazine if she slept with him
Extras
indybest
News
peopleRevealed: Goop.com's losses - and the pay rises
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 iPad app?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Automation Test Manager (C#, C++, VB.NET, QTP, Management)

Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Automation Test Manager (C#, C++, VB.NET, QTP, M...

C# Web Application Developer (HTML5, JavaScript, ASP.NET, TDD)

£35000 - £43000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Web Applica...

Data Quality Analyst (SQL, Excel, Word, Finance, Access)

£20000 - £26000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: Data Qua...

Newly Qualified Auditor? - Audit Manager Opportunity - £50k

£50000 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Are you a newly qualified ...

Day In a Page

Brits who migrate to Costa del Sol more unhappy than those who stay at home

It's not always fun in the sun: Moving abroad does not guarantee happiness

Brits who migrate to Costa del Sol more unhappy than those who stay at home
Migrants in Britain a decade on: They came, they worked, they stayed in Lincolnshire

Migrants in Britain a decade on

They came, they worked, they stayed in Lincolnshire
Chris Addison on swapping politics for pillow talk

Chris Addison on swapping politics for pillow talk

The 'Thick of It' favourite thinks the romcom is an 'awful genre'. So why is he happy with a starring role in Sky Living's new Lake District-set series 'Trying Again'?
Why musicians play into their old age

Why musicians play into their old age

Nick Hasted looks at how they are driven by a burning desire to keep on entertaining fans despite risking ridicule
How can you tell a gentleman?

How can you tell a gentleman?

A list of public figures with gallant attributes by Country Life magazine throws a fascinating light on what it means to be a gentleman in the modern world
Pet a porter: posh pet pampering

Pet a porter: posh pet pampering

The duo behind Asos and Achica have launched a new venture offering haute couture to help make furry companions fashionable
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: The mutiny that sent a ripple of fear through the Empire

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

The mutiny that sent a ripple of fear through the Empire
Hot stuff: 10 best kettles

Hot stuff: 10 best kettles

Celebrate St George’s Day with a nice cup of tea. Now you just need to get the water boiled
Sam Wallace: Why Giggs is perfect fit as Manchester United boss... in the longer term

Sam Wallace

Why Ryan Giggs is perfect fit as Manchester United boss... in the longer term
Renaud Lavillenie: The sky's the limit for this pole vaulter's ambitions

Renaud Lavillenie: The sky's the limit for this pole vaulter's ambitions

Having smashed Sergei Bubka's 21-year-old record, the French phenomenon tells Simon Turnbull he can go higher
Through the screen: British Pathé opens its archives

Through the screen

British Pathé opens its archives
The man behind the papier mâché mask

Frank Sidebottom

The man behind the papier mâché mask
Chris Marker: Mystic film-maker with a Midas touch

Mystic film-maker with a Midas touch

Chris Marker retrospective is a revelation
Boston runs again: Thousands take to the streets for marathon as city honours dead and injured of last year's bombing

Boston runs again

Thousands of runners take to the streets as city honours dead of last year
40 years of fostering and still holding the babies (and with no plans to retire)

40 years of fostering and holding the babies

In their seventies and still working as specialist foster parents