Nigel Farage has hinted he would like knighthood amid a bitter row between the former Ukip leader and its MP Douglas Carswell.
Yesterday, Carswell was summoned to a meeting with Ukip’s chairman after it was reported he thwarted an attempt to award Farage a knighthood in the New Year’s Honours list.
Asked this morning if he did wanted to be made Sir Nigel Farage, the former Ukip leader replied coyly: “Not particularly.”
However pressed by BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, he added: “I would not want a peerage, if something else came along I might accept, it but I wouldn’t want a peerage.”
Carswell strongly denied the accusation he tried to block a knighthood, despite leaked emails showing him suggesting Farage should get a lower grade honour – such as an OBE or MBE “for services to headline writers”.
Farage has called for Carswell, who defected from the Conservatives in 2014, to be expelled from Ukip. And it has been reported that the Tories would now be willing to welcome Carswell back.
The Huffington Post reported this morning that Carswell’s future in Ukip is now subject to an “ongoing” investigation by party chiefs.
Farage said this morning: “The time has now come to have a clean break. To make sure we don’t have influences like Carswell taking us away from the key arguments like immigration.
“There have been some in Ukip who want to turn us into a mainstream political party with very bland messages and I would say Ukip is a radical party or it is nothing.”
“This question of immigration is still the number one issue in the minds of voters in this country. Ukip must not be squeamish about it. People like Douglas Carswell wrote in the Times last year we should not make immigration synonymous with EU membership. I thought crikey ‘I have spent 10 years trying to do that very thing’.”