POLITICS

Rupert Murdoch And Nigel Farage's 'Secret' London Dinner

08/03/2013 07:22 GMT | Updated 08/03/2013 12:30 GMT

Nigel Farage told Rupert Murdoch at a private London dinner he would form an electoral pact with the Conservative Party if David Cameron quit as prime minister, it has been reported.

According to the Daily Telegraph, the Ukip leader met the News International chairman for a "secret" meal on Tuesday, the pair's first meeting, in the wake of the Eastleigh by-election which saw Farage's eurosceptic party push the Tories into third place.

The newspaper reports that Farage told Murdoch he would work with the Tories to defeat Labour in 2015, as long as the prime minister was no longer the party's leader.

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News of the meeting comes amid Westminster chatter about who will succeed Cameron, with home secretary Theresa May's name currently top of the list.

Conservative MPs are deeply concerned that the Ukip vote in marginal seats is now enough to cost the party the next election by splitting the right-wing vote and allowing Labour or Lib Dem candidates through the middle.

On Thursday Murdoch Tweeted praise for Farage as well as criticism of the European Union and the single currency.

His messages also included praise for two other leading contenders to take over from Cameron - London mayor Boris Johnson and education secretary Michael Gove. Boris and Gove are both also reported to have recently sat down for private dinners with Murdoch.