Tory MPs in talks with Richard Tice and Nigel Farage’s party to defect have been ongoing for many weeks, Guido understands.
Contrary to suggestions in an i exclusive on Monday, discussions occurred well before Liz Truss become PM, and weren’t necessarily sparked by Rishi Sunak’s ascension to No. 10. Guido’s not sure whether this will reassure or worry Rishi…
Two days ago, The i reported that Red Wall MPs are “being courted by the Reform Party as it seeks a wave of Ukip-style defections among dissatisfied Tories,” Tice told the paper:
“I think it’s fair to say, without saying too much, that there’s some very disaffected ‘Red Wall’, industrial heartland, Tory MPs who thought they were joining a Conservative Party and have found themselves in a socialist party. They’re very, very unhappy.”
Guido understands a handful are responding positively, given the ongoing migrant crisis and failures by the Government. If Farage does return to the fray, and the Government fails to address the migrant crisis effectively, Rishi could be facing a major headache.