Farage tells Suella Braverman to join Reform after Tory election defeat

Nigel Farage has dismissed calls by Tory rightwinger Suella Braverman for her party to embrace him in an election pact.

The Reform UK leader told a press conference that he “likes Suella Braverman” but said it was “impossible” to believe Reform would want to join the “high tax, high immigration” Tories.

He suggested that the former home secretary instead joins his party after the “inevitable” election defeat for the Conservatives.

The former Ukip and Brexit Party leader confirmed that “all marriage plans are off” when it comes to him rejoining the Tories, a party he left over the Maastricht Treaty in 1992.

Farage addresses the media today (PA)
Farage addresses the media today (PA)

Ms Braverman had suggested the Conservatives should welcome Mr Farage into the party as there was not much difference between the Tories and Reform.

Asked about this, Mr Farage said: “Well, look, I mean, Suella Braverman said I should rejoin the Conservatives because our policies are very similar.

“I don’t think so. I don’t think so. What they’ve done, allowing nearly two-and-a-half million people to settle in the country in the last two years is most certainly not our policy.

“So I do like her, I do admire her, but I’m afraid at the moment all marriage plans are off.”

He added: “She can join Reform after the election.”

Meanwhile, Mr Farage threatened “war” with some polling companies for not prompting for Reform in their surveys.

Braverman wants the Tories to embrace Farage and Reform (Getty)
Braverman wants the Tories to embrace Farage and Reform (Getty)

He claimed that his party is now ahead of the Tories in many parts of the UK including the red wall, north east and midlands as well as among men.

He said: “If you exclusive London and Scotland we are ahead of the Tories.”

Earlier today Rishi Sunak had struck a different note claiming that Mr Farage was “not good for our country or our politics”. This led to a fierce response from the Reform leader.

The Reform UK leader had drawn condemnation after saying the British-Asian Prime Minister does not "care" about UK history in an attack over his decision to leave D-Day commemoration events early last week.

Labour’s shadow justice secretary Shabana Mahmood branded the comments "dog whistle" politics, while Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride said they made him "very uncomfortable".

Asked for his response to the remarks during a huddle with journalists at a garden centre in Horsham on Monday, Mr Sunak said: "You can ask him, I can't speak for him and what he meant by those comments.

"I'm not going to get involved in that because I don't think it's good for our politics or indeed our country."

But Mr Farage retorted that the prime minister’s decision to leave the D-Day commemorations early showed “he has no feel” for the values of ordinary people in Britain and is “completely disconnected.”

However, at a press conference where the party was unveiling plans to raise the income tax threshold to £20,000, he was forced to explain the views of one of his party’s candidates.

Ian Gribbin, the party's candidate in Bexhill and Battle that Britain should have "taken Hitler up on his offer of neutrality" instead of fighting the Nazis in the Second World War.

Mr Farage said: "They've got a bigger problem in the Green Party. They've had to suspend 20 of their candidates for putting out pretty vile antisemitic tweets.

"Here's something, I think every party will suffer because it was a snap election. We've put in place a good vetting programme, but we've run out of time."

Party chairman Richard Tice added: "We're really pleased with all candidates. When people do inappropriate things, say daft things then of course we'll look at it and investigate it and that's what we do."