No pact with Ukip says Tory party chairman
Three Conservative MPs call for agreement with Nigel Farage’s party, but Grant Shapps rules out possibility.
Grant Shapps, the Tory chairman, has ruled out a general election pact with Ukip after three Eurosceptic Conservative MPs called for an agreement between the two parties.
Shapps spoke out after Douglas Carswell, Jacob Rees-Mogg and Peter Bone all suggested that the Tories should try to maximise the Eurosceptic vote by standing agreed candidates.
Rees-Mogg told the BBC: “With the promise of the referendum, the Conservative party and Ukip are moving in exactly the same direction – offering the British people a final decision on whether we have continued membership of the EU. That surely pushes towards a coupon of some kind.”
The MP for north east Somerset was referring to the general election of 1918, dubbed the “coupon election” in which the Liberal prime minister David Lloyd George and the Conservative leader issued a letter of endorsement to candidates who supported them.
But Shapps rejected a pact out of hand. He told the BBC: “We are not going to have pacts or joint candidates. It can’t happen on a technical basis because we do not allow joint candidates to stand. We are a single party, no other party would have joint candidates. It is not going to happen. We are the Conservative party. We are the best chance of offering an in/out referendum.”
- The Guardian,