Senior Tory: I’d love to see Nigel Farage as home secretary

Farage would ‘take no prisoners’, says Jonathan Gullis – who suggests peerage for ex-Brexit Party leader

Adam Forrest
Political Correspondent
Tuesday 05 December 2023 10:03 GMT
I'm a Celeb's Nella Rose demotes Fred Fred Sirieix and Nigel Farage to cleaning duties

Senior Conservative MP Jonathan Gullis says he would “love” to see Nigel Farage as Tory home secretary – suggesting the political rival could even be given a peerage to join the government.

The right-wing former minister said the ex-Brexit Party leader would “take no prisoners” and could reach the public like no-one other than Boris Johnson.

Rishi Sunak has suggested that Mr Farage may be welcome back inside the Conservatives – insisting the party was a “broad church”.

And former chancellor George Osborne has said it is “not inconceivable” that the former Ukip boss could be a future Tory leader because of the party’s big shift to the right.

Mr Guillis, a former schools minister under Liz Truss, said Mr Farage would be ideal home secretary and he would be “very happy to welcome him” into the Tory fold.

“I’d love to see it, personally,” he told GB News. “I think Nigel has a lot to offer. Number one, he is a big voice on the key issues like immigration.”

“Secondly, I think he’s actually an asset across the blue and the red wall,” he added. “Probably no one closer to having the ability other than Boris Johnson to be able to get a message across clearly and concisely.

On the possibility of making him home secretary, Mr Gullis added: “Maybe, just maybe, the Conservatives could put Nigel Farage in the House of Lords.”

Delegates at the Tory conference pose with Nigel Farage in Manchester

“I think he would take no nonsense; he would take no prisoners. He would call out the civil service for what they are at times, which are blockers to actual government policy and make sure that we deliver on the priorities of the British public.”

Mr Gullis is a key figure in the increasingly influential right-wing New Conservatives group, which is pushing for radical action from Mr Sunak and his current home secretary James Cleverly on the stalled Rwanda deportation flights.

The Independent understands a group of around 35 MPs in the hardline New Conservatives group reportedly met with other colleagues on the right on Monday night to discuss whether to vote against Mr Sunak’s legislation if it is not deemed tough enough.

It poses a real threat to Mr Sunak’s plans – since only 26 Tory MPs would be needed to vote with the opposition to defeat his ‘plan B’ legislation.

Mr Farage, currently on ITV’s I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here!, was feted by Tory members and seen dancing with former home secretary Priti Patel at the recent party conference.

The hard-right politician has also flirted with the idea of joining the Tories in recent weeks as he seeks to raise his profile again – saying “never say never”.

There is speculation that Mr Farage – founder of the re-incarnation of the Brexit Party – a could replace current leader Richard Tice when he gets out of the jungle.

It comes as a new poll Redfield & Wilton Strategies found that more people who voted for the Tories in 2019 plan to support Reform UK than Labour. Some 15 per cent plan to ditch the Conservatives for the hard right party, while only 13 per cent will go to Labour, the survey found.

And the latest BMG Research survey shows that Reform UK is now ahead of the Liberal Democrats in third on 11 per cent – its best performance in any poll by the firm.

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