Tory Andrea Jenkyns puts photo with Farage on campaign leaflet – but no Sunak‌

Andrea Jenkyns' campaign leaflet featuring Nigel Farage
Andrea Jenkyns' campaign leaflet featuring Nigel Farage

A former Conservative minister has caused controversy by putting a picture of herself with Nigel Farage on her election leaflet.

Dame Andrea Jenkyns, who is standing for election in the new seat of Leeds South West and Morley in West Yorkshire, included a photograph of herself with the Reform UK leader on her campaign material.

Rishi Sunak, her party leader, does not appear on the leaflet and nor is the Conservative Party mentioned.

Dame Andrea is on the Right of the Tory Party and was a fervent supporter of Boris Johnson, who appointed her minister for skills, further and higher education when he experienced a mass exodus of ministers from his administration in July 2022.

She was reappointed following the election of Liz Truss as Tory leader but was sacked when Mr Sunak entered No 10.

Dame Andrea Jenkyns addressing the Tory Party conference
Dame Andrea Jenkyns has included a picture of Nigel Farage on her election leaflet - Getty

With Sir Simon Clarke, she was one of only two Conservative MPs to publicly reveal that she had submitted a letter of no confidence in Mr Sunak to the backbench 1922 Committee.

Her campaign leaflet shows Dame Andrea posing next to a grinning Mr Farage – who took over as leader of Reform from Richard Tice at the start of this month – at his birthday party at a London restaurant in April.

The decision to highlight her friendship with Mr Farage is likely to be part of an effort to neutralise the threat of Reform in her constituency.

Last week, Dame Andrea posted a statement on X bemoaning the fact that Reform had decided to run “in constituencies where genuine Conservative are seeking re-election such as my own”.

“I like and respect Nigel, and we had the chance to form a genuine Conservative alliance around the country and keep out the socialists,” she said. “But by voting Reform you will see dozens of genuine Conservatives that have been fighting for your interests leave Parliament and be replaced by Starmer’s socialists.”

Dame Andrea boasts of her local achievements
Dame Andrea boasts of her local achievements - SWNS

In a tweet on Wednesday afternoon in response to the “excitement over my leaflet today”, she said: “All Conservatives must be prepared to come together to prevent a socialist super-majority and the end of Britain as we know it.”

A spokesman for Dame Andrea said: “Andrea is above all, a patriot. She fought for Brexit alongside politicians from all parties including Labour and [those now standing for] Reform and is proud of being able to transcend party politics and put the country first. She finds it regrettable that party leaders have not been able to see the bigger picture in uniting the right to stop a socialist super-majority.

“After the election, Conservative MPs will need to work with a wider conservative movement to achieve their goals and Andrea is one of the best-placed genuine conservatives in her party to help facilitate this.

“For the avoidance of any doubt, Andrea is a lifelong Conservative and is standing for the Conservative Party in the forthcoming election. She is committed to promoting low-tax, common-sense conservatism.”

The news comes amid heated debate within the Tory Party about whether it should open its doors to Mr Farage.

The Reform leader has previously spoken of his desire to launch a “takeover” of the Tories.