Major's maverick Gardiner defects to Referendum Party

Sir George Gardiner, the right-wing MP de-selected by the Conservatives, yesterday delivered another blow to John Major by defecting to Sir James Goldsmith's Referendum Party.

Mightier than the sword

He holds no government position or party office. He's no longer even a Tory. But Lord McAlpine's book is spreading fear in Westminster. By Donald Macintyre

Letter: The party won't go quietly

Andy Beckett's article on the Referendum Party carries the aroma of wish fulfilment ("Not even Jim can fix it now", 23 February). The only poll he mentions is by MORI, taken over eight months ago when the party had barely formed. It showed 0.5 per cent support. The poll published last week by James Capel was taken from 2,000 people nationwide who voted Conservative in 1992; 20 per cent said they were likely or certain to vote for the Referendum Party. A poll carried out in February by Harris for the Wirral South by-election showed 9 per cent support.

Labour has a 20-point lead over the Tories

Labour has a 20-point lead over the Tories according to an opinion poll published today.

Not even Jim can fix it now

With ambitious wannabes managing its lacklustre campaign, Sir James Goldsmith's Referendum Party now has more to do with personal gain than political idealism

Obituary: Michael Goldsmith

Michael Goldsmith was one of the post-war generation of British aircraft engineers who rose to top management and laid the foundations of Britain's current pre-eminence in commercial aerospace. Airbus is today a British Aerospace success story, but it might have been otherwise without Goldsmith.

Leading article: Bad luck, Jimmy, but stay safe!

Money can't buy you love - but we had thought it could probably buy you votes. If so, James Goldsmith's pounds 20m should be able to buy a very large number of votes indeed. So we should be greatly cheered by the Gallup poll last week which gave his Referendum Party just 1 per cent of support. No amount of billboards or extravagantly paid staff have seduced the electorate; money, Goldsmith has learnt, cannot even buy you inflated poll ratings. When, last autumn, he asked MORI to keep re-wording the question until it yielded a better response, the pollsters politely declined, and terminated the contract.

Referendum candidate gives way to Clark

Robin Birley, the stepson of Sir James Goldsmith, last night stood down as the Referendum Party candidate for Kensington & Chelsea following the selection last Thursday of the Euro-sceptic former minister, Alan Clark, to stand for the Conservatives in the constituency.

Shooters target Referendum Party

Britain's shooting fraternity is preparing to back Sir James Goldsmith's campaign for a European referendum, writes Ian Burrell. Disillusioned with the Government's insistence on introducing new firearms restrictions and Labour's promises of even more swingeing gun laws if it comes to power, the shooters are opting for a protest vote.

Goldsmith v Heath in battle of the old devils

A political battle of titanic proportions broke out yesterday as the billionaire financier Sir James Goldsmith squared up to Sir Edward Heath over Europe.

Heath faces former aide

The former Prime Minister, Sir Edward Heath, will face the acute embarrassment of encountering one of his former economic advisers as an opponent at the general election.

Goldsmith party is scorned as amateur

Sir James Goldsmith's Referendum Party is run by a group of amateurs who have mustered the support of only about 15,000 people nationwide, a defector from the party said yesterday.

'Rumpole' star joins anti-EU campaign

The UK Independence Party has attracted its biggest celebrity supporter so far in Leo McKern, star of Rumpole of the Bailey.

Labour MPs' by-election ploy may drive Major into minority

John Major could be heading a minority government within a month as Labour backbenchers prepare for a Christmas coup which could lead to a by-election defeat for the Conservatives.

Jump up, shout and scream

A hip new generation of gospel acts is packing out British venues. Geoff Brown gets on his good foot and gets down for Jesus
Sport
England's women celebrate after their 3rd place play-off win against Germany
Women's World CupFara Williams converts penalty to secure victory and bronze medals
Arts and Entertainment
Ricardo by Edward Sutcliffe, 2014
artPortraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb go on display
News
newsHillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
Sport
Novak Djokovic has been attending the Buddhapadipa Temple for quiet contemplation for several years
wimbledonBuddhapadipa Temple is regular refuge for the world No 1
Life and Style
Kissing
life
Sport
wimbledonScot will face Ivo Karlovic next
News
i100
Sport
Lewis Hamilton takes pole on front of his home fans
f1
Arts and Entertainment
British singer 'Lonelady' performing in Bourges (Getty)
musicMONEY, Lonelady, Dr Meaker... Which ones have you heard of?
Latest stories from i100
Career Services

Day In a Page

A
Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'