Shropshire Star

Rishi Sunak rules out an election pact with Nigel Farage’s Reform UK

The Prime Minister said he would not cut such a deal after Reform UK honorary president Nigel Farage revealed he was open to talks.

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Nigel Farage

Rishi Sunak has ruled out an electoral pact with Nigel Farage’s Reform UK ahead of the General Election.

It came after Mr Farage revealed he would be open to having a conversation with the Conservative Party, as he hinted at a possible deal.

But the Prime Minister warned voters that backing Reform UK would likely see the Tories’ share suffer, making a Labour election victory more likely.

General Election campaign 2024
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak during his visit to The Drewe Arms Community Pub in Exeter while on the General Election campaign trail (Aaron Chown/PA)

Mr Sunak was asked by reporters if he would be open to a deal with Reform UK, similar to the arrangement in the run-up to the 2019 general election where Reform’s predecessor the Brexit Party agreed not to stand in seats won by the Tories in 2017.

He replied: “There is only going to be one of two people who is going to be prime minister on July 5, it is either Keir Starmer or me.

“So the choice for everyone in this election, and the vote for anyone who isn’t the Conservative candidate is a vote to put Keir Starmer into Number 10.”

Pressed about whether he was ruling out such a deal, Mr Sunak said: “Yes.”

Speaking to The Sun’s Never Mind The Ballots, Mr Farage accused the Tories of betraying voters on illegal immigration.

The Reform UK honorary president said: “I got rid of Mrs May with the Brexit Party. I stood aside with Boris to help a massive majority. What are they going to do back for me?”

Asked if he would accept a peerage from the Conservative Party, he replied: “No, I’m not asking for anything other than: I’ve done them some huge favours over the years as a party, give me something back. We might have a conversation.”

Mr Farage said he believes Reform UK will “win a few” seats at the General Election, but “not many because that’s the system we’re having to live with”.

During the interview, Mr Farage described Conservative former minister and prominent Brexiteer Sir Iain Duncan Smith as an “ally”.

But he added: “The betrayal, the lies, from the Conservative Party at every election since 2010 on illegal immigration, are just astonishing. And those people hate your party and they’re not going to vote for them.”

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak during his visit to defence vehicle manufacturer Supacat in Exeter, Devon while on the General Election campaign trail
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak during his visit to defence vehicle manufacturer Supacat in Exeter, Devon (Aaron Chown/PA)

Sir Iain replied: “If your party, Reform, end up standing in all the seats, they will end up delivering what they don’t want.”

He added: “All you’re intent on is destruction, you’re not intent on achieving anything and all you’ll get is a Labour Party that will come in and go in exactly the opposite direction to where Reform want.”

Prior to this, Mr Farage claimed the Conservatives were destroying themselves, adding: “They now stand for nothing, they serve no purpose at all, they’re split completely down the middle.

“Really what Reform is about is a six-year plan to completely reshape the centre-right of politics.”

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