Farage plots comeback as he meets with ‘disgruntled’ Red Wall MPs

Nigel Farage warns against Swiss-style deal

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Nigel Farage is “testing the water” with “disgruntled” Red Wall MPs as he plots yet another political comeback, a report has claimed. Mr Farage’s meetings with Tory MPs come as Reform UK looks at a hit list of 11 seats which they hope to snatch at the next election.

Ex-Labour leader Ed Miliband’s Doncaster North seat was included in the target list alongside Barnsley East, Hartlepool, Wentworth & Dearne, Don Valley, Rother Valley, Bolsover, Rotherham, Makerfield, Stoke-on-Trent North and Mansfield.

The move to put pressure on the Tory Party in its new Brexit-backing northern seats comes amid growing public anger at the failure to take back control of our borders after net migration hit an all-time high.

An insider told the Sun on Sunday: “Nigel Farage has been reaching out to the disgruntled lot.

“He has been having meetings with Red Wall Tories about the Reform Party to test the water.”

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Mr Farage also told the newspaper that outright defections were not discussed by “there are a lot of very, very disillusioned Conservatives”.

The GB News host managed to convince ex-Clacton MP Douglas Carswell and former Rochester & Strood MP Mark Reckless to leave David Cameron’s Conservative Party for UKIP in 2014.

Both MPs subsequently won by-election contests held following their defections.

Reform UK, which emerged from the embers of the Brexit Party after the UK left the European Union, has seen a surge in support in recent weeks after over 5,000 people joined.

Some Tory MPs have suggested that while Reform might not win any seats they could split the right-wing vote enough to let Sir Keir Starmer enter Number 10.

An ex-Minister told the Sun on Sunday: “If Reform UK get even 10 per cent of the vote that could be catastrophic for me.”

However, former allies of Mr Farage appear to have welcomed speculation about his potential comeback.

Ex-Brexit Party MEP Martin Daubney, who stood as Laurence Fox’s Reclaim candidate in last year’s North Shropshire by-election, said: “Things are getting interesting.”

Fellow former MEP June Mummey added: “Please don’t forget our deprived coastal communities.”

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However, an ally of Mr Farage from his days with Leave.EU in 2016 appear to put forward one of the clearest words of encouragement to the ex-UKIP leader.

Andy Wigmore said: “Go on, Nigel, give the pillocks at ⁦⁦CCHQ a kick in the ballots.”

Mr Sunak was forced to clarify his Government’s position on Brexit last week after it was reported that the UK could look to move towards a Swiss-style relationship with Brussels.

Speaking to delegates at the CBI annual conference, the Prime Minister said: “Brexit is already delivering enormous benefits and opportunities.”

He added: “I think the country’s number one priority right now, when it comes to migration, is tackling illegal migration.

“It’s stopping people coming here illegally in small boats across the Channel.”

Reform UK leader Richard Tice revealed his party will stand candidates in every seat in Great Britain but will not enter races in Northern Ireland.

The announcement comes after Mr Farage stood down hundreds of candidates following Boris Johnson’s commitment to ‘Get Brexit Done’.

Mr Tice recently said: “I think it’s fair to say, without saying too much, that there’s some very disaffected ‘Red Wall’, industrial heartland, Tory MPs who thought they were joining a Conservative Party and have found themselves in a socialist party. They’re very, very unhappy.

“So, you’re seeing some of them basically saying ‘I’m abandoning politics altogether’, and some are having other considerable thoughts. That’s all I say.”

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