Tory Chairman Refuses To Rule Out Doing Deal With Nigel Farage To See Off Reform Threat

Worried Conservative MPs fear the former Ukip boss will campaign against them at the election.
Nigel Farage has yet to say what he will do at the general election.
Nigel Farage has yet to say what he will do at the general election.
Max Mumby/Indigo via Getty Images

Tory chairman Richard Holden has refused to rule out making Nigel Farage the UK’s ambassador to Washington.

Some worried Conservative MPs want Rishi Sunak to do a deal with the former Ukip leader in a bid to prevent him campaigning against the party at the general election.

They fear that Farage could rally support for Reform UK, who are already eating into Tory support across the country.

One Red Wall MP told Politico: “He already has a great relationship with Donald Trump and he would make an excellent interlocutor between the two countries. Bung him a peerage and make him ambassador is what I would do.”

On Sky News last night, Holden twice dodged the question when asked by whether a deal could be agreed between the PM and Farage.

Presenter Sophy Ridge said: “Looking at the polls now you can see why some of your colleagues are a bit twitchy.

“There’s a suggestion that some of them are saying the PM should try and buy off Nigel Farage and the threat of Reform by offering a plum job - ambassador to Washington, something like that. Would that be a good idea?”

Holden replied: “I’m out on the ground campaigning, I’ve been party chairman for a good few months now campaigning right across the country all the time.

“People are saying they know that the choice at the next election is going to be between a Conservative government led by Rishi Sunak or a Labour government led by Keir Starmer. There is no doubt about that.”

As he tried to list what the Tories have done in office, Ridge interrupted him to say: “I just want to steer you back to the question, which is about Nigel Farage.

“Do you think it would be a good idea for the prime minister to do a deal with Nigel Farage?”

Avoiding giving a straight answer again, Holden said: “What Nigel Farage does and the Reform party is totally up to them.”

He added: “It’s quite clear that a vote for Reform, all it’s going to do is help Keir Starmer get into Downing Street.”

Ridge responded: “So not a good idea to offer him a job then?”

Holden said: “All I would say is that it’s irrelevant to what people are talking about on the ground.”

But a Reform spokesperson said: “It is clear that whoever is briefing this drivel has never met Farage, never heard him speak or even read about him or his character.

“What they are suggesting is a political bribe. The Tories have been offering him those since about the year 2000. It didn’t work then, why would they think it might work now?

“It might be sensible to offer him a peerage, or would have been in 2016, but for his achievements, not as a down-payment for the betrayal of everything he stands for.

“It might be sensible to offer him the ambassador’s job, because he is the only person in UK politics with a good relationship with Donald Trump, but not because some terrified Tories think it might save their rotten hides.”


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