Reform denies claim of cash bid to poach Anderson

Reform UK’s leader has denied offering Tory deputy chairman Lee Anderson cash to defect to the party.

Richard Tice insisted “no cash or money” has been offered to Tory MPs to join.

Mr Anderson reportedly told activists at a meeting last month that he was offered “a lot of money” to switch to Reform UK, which boasts Nigel Farage as honorary president.

Mr Tice told the BBC: “I’m very happy to confirm that I’ve had numerous discussions with a number of Tory MPs, ministers, former ministers.

Don’t miss… Lee Anderson claims he was offered ‘a lot of money’ to defect to Reform UK

“But let me make it absolutely clear, no cash or money has in any way been offered. What has been offered is the chance to change the shape of the debate. What’s really happened here is that Lee Anderson has used the threat of defecting to Reform to negotiate himself the deputy chairmanship of the Tory Party, because this story first appeared in the time back in February when coincidentally, he was made deputy chairman of the Tory party.”

Mr Anderson is said to have made the claim at a Conservative Association event in Cambridgeshire last month.

It comes as Rishi Sunak has warned Tory voters that a vote for Reform UK is a “vote to put Keir Starmer in office”.

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