Coffee House

Michael Fabricant calls for Tory pact with UKIP

26 November 2012

Boris Johnson’s surprise rejection of an In/Out referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union last night may have been an attempt to help David Cameron as he prepares to set out his own position on the EU, but the Prime Minister will find he’s not in for an easy ride from his own parliamentary party. As helpful as the Mayor might have been, his intervention has been rather overshadowed by a discussion paper from the Tory party vice chairman, Michael Fabricant, in which the former whip calls for a pact with UKIP.

Fabricant’s plan follows the offer to the Tories which Nigel Farage set out in the pages of the Spectatorin May for joint UKIP/Conservative candidates. It involves the Prime Minister pledging a referendum in exchange for UKIP not standing against Tories in the next general election. The paper says:

‘The United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) is now a significant contributory factor in costing the Conservative Party victories in marginal seats. It is time to consider actively whether a rapprochement might be possible before the 2015 General Election. The basis of any deal is clear: a referendum on the United Kingdom’s future membership of the European Union.’

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There are certainly Tory MPs who would find this an attractive prospect to relieve some of the pressure on their 2015 campaigns. Fabricant, who has his ear closer to the ground than most as a campaign organiser fresh from the Corby by-election, believes the pact could yield an extra 20 to 40 seats in 2015 by preventing a loss of votes to Farage’s party. He also suggests Farage should be given a ministerial position, describing the UKIP leader as ‘a former Thatcherite, who sounds like a Conservative, who looks like a Conservative, and in other circumstances probably would be a Conservative’.

This idea will make things difficult for the PM, who is due to give a statement on the EU budget this afternoon. He is always pressed on his stance on Britain’s overall membership of the EU by his backbenchers whenever he speaks in the Chamber on anything vaguely Europe-related, and Boris’ interview yesterday, combined with the Fabricant proposals, won’t diminish their enthusiasm. But it’s a big ask for UKIP, too: Farage would effectively be sacrificing his party’s own chances in the interests of a referendum when he’s trying to promote UKIP as a party with many policies rather than one campaigning on a single issue. He has already tweeted: ‘The Fabricant deal seems to be based on buying me off. UKIP is bigger than that.’ Last night, he said there would be ‘no deals with the Tories; it’s war’. But there’s still the chance that rather than refraining from campaigning against Tory candidates, UKIP tries to field joint candidates with the Conservative party, which is a tempting prospect for those who see the party as their main threat to holding onto their seats.

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  • William Blakes Ghost

    describing the UKIP leader as ‘a former Thatcherite, who sounds like a
    Conservative, who looks like a Conservative, and in other circumstances
    probably would be a Conservative’.

    As opposed to a Prime Minister who talks like a Blairite, acts like a Liberal and if the Conservative party had known this in 2005 probably wouldn’t have made him leader.

    Farage should be mindful of the Liberal Democrat experience. Left of centre voters saw them as an alternative to Labour and saw their coalition with the Conservatives as a betrayal and abandoned them in their droves. Eurosceptics and many Conservatives do not consider Cameron as one of them and in fact part of the problem. Farage would be wise to have nothing to do with the Cameroons else he too could see his ambitions crushed as Clegg did.

  • DavidDP

    The most recent polling on this suggests almost twice as many LibDem voters would consider voting Tory than UKIP voters. Seems to suggest a pact with the LibDems would be more frutiful……

    • WIlliam Blakes Ghost

      Indeed but how many further Conservatives will Cameron loose in attracting a handful of Libdems. Remember, according to polls the Libdems are now a small party once again and no bigger than UKIP. Chances are every offer to the Libdems will cost Cameron greater losses in his own ranks (most likely to UKIP) than it will provide gains from the Libdems (not least because he’s fighting Labour over them).

      At the same time Cameron has deserted traditional Conservative territory (leaving a vacuum for UKIP to fill) and positioned his tanks in no man’s land in the centre of politics. As a result he has disaffected many mainstream Conservatives and in doing so appears untrustworthy and opportunistic and being perceived as untrustworthy and opportunistic means those who oppose traditional conservatives are not going to trust him either. Consequently Cameron has probably manouevered himself into the worst of all worlds. He now has opponents on both flanks, he is leaking support on the right whilst trying to placate equally conflicted and disowned allies on the left (whom he really needs to absorb and quickly if he is to drag the conservative party to the left). As such he cannot stem the flow of departing supporters without distressing his left of centre allies. It seems to me Cameron has managed (in the inimitable way that only he seems to be able to ) of leaving himself no room to manouevre.

      The thing is as those who have planted themselves in the centre ground (Blair, Clegg & The Libdems) have found you can only position yourself in the centre ground and face both ways at once for a short period and get away with it before being found out. After that the only way is down.

      • DavidDP

        “Indeed but how many further Conservatives will Cameron loose in attracting a handful of Libdems”
        And how many will he lose in attracting an even smaller handful of UKIP supporters? On the face of it, based on the actual evidence rather than qualitative anecdote, the net gain would seem to come from the LibDem move, not the UKIP move.

        If you want to make an qrgument based on the fact that you agree with UKIP’s agenda and think that the Tory party should adopt it, fine, but basing the argument on where voters will move to means you’ve got to accept the data we have, and that data doesn’t support the idea that a pact with UKIP will do much for Tory party fortunes.

  • trevor21

    Re- the picture above, has Boris gone Anorexic ?

  • TomTom

    Funny party the Cameron Cons – happy to make a LibDem Deputy PM but not a UKIP Conservative……says it all really. Britain has a Socialist Block Party as in the GDR – different labels but same party under the wrappings

  • Hexhamgeezer

    We need a coalition against Angloscepticism

  • Troika21

    I do hope the Tories sign. It’ll mean death for them, a stay of execution rather than a pardon, serve ’em right for doing something so stupid.

    All it will do is help UKIP increase it’s power, without doing anything to diminish the threat from them. Fabricant should be sacked if he’s running this scared.

    Also; how many blond-mopped members do the Tories have?

    • RKing

      Do you mean “How many wear a blonde “syrup”?

      (For those north of Watford “Syrup” = “Syrup and Figs” = Wigs)

      • Noa

        Thanks for that! I went to Watford once, but had great difficulty finding the rugby ground as I didn’t speak Urdu.

        • HooksLaw

          Ah – your slip is showing, well hidden for a while but you have let is slip now.

          • Noa

            The simple truth.

      • Troika21

        You know, I’d missed the comments on the wig.

        He does look a tit, doesn’t he?

    • Rahul Kamath

      Yep. This would be a suicidal decision for the Conservatives. They’d lose every moderate voter they have today. Plus they’d have to make concessions to that loony hypocrite Farage. No wonder Cameron is treating this idea as radioactive.

  • @PhilKean1

    A weekend is a long time in politics

    Well, it seems that I was right all along about Boris. How on earth were some of you fooled?
    I am also right that Cameron’s Budget fight with the EU is, as I said in a previous blog – “a false battle”.
    Backing me up in that observation, but calling it, instead, “a sideshow”, is Christopher Booker; someone whose thinking regularly tallies with mine.

    Which brings me to the efforts of those who understand that, because of UKIP – or should I say – responsible citizens, Cameron’s Party have not got a hope of winning the 2015 General Election.

    So what should Cameron supporters and real Conservatives do?
    I am coming to the conclusion that, because of my frustration with politicians, journalists and commentators alike, there is NOTHING that can be done.
    Why are they so unable to think? Why are they so gullible? Why are some of them so dishonest?

    Here’s a couple of honest journalists who seem to have been taken in by the farcical theatrics at the so-called EU Budget negotiations.

    So, back to Mr Fabricant’s suggestion.

    I have said in previous blogs that UKIP will cost Cameron at least 40 seats (could be many more the way UKIP are gaining popularity). So I definitely agree with him there.
    However, where I disagree with him is that I can see no way possible to do a deal with Cameron.

    Look at what Cameron is doing now, NOW, and it is clear that this man is simply not allowing for the fact that Britain may be forced to leave the EU.
    Ok, I may have a low opinion of his intelligence. But even I find it impossible to believe that he has ruined Britain’s negotiating hand because of his own incompetence and stupidity. I mean, it must surely have been deliberate, was it not?

    Then we have Britain’s previous, and current status. I would have been right behind Cameron if, as he seemed to promise, he had FROZEN Britain’s involvement with the EU when he took office in 2010, instead of further enmeshing us, as he has.

    And look at him now. On TV he ONLY talks about Britain’s future in the EU. Whether it is how we will manage to handle the soon massive influx of immigrants from Bulgaria and Romania, the EU signing trade agreements which INCLUDE Britain, or his incomprehensible reasoning of how Britain will supposedly retain Sterling and remain in control of her economy – while still remaining a member of a Federal EU.

    My conclusion is that Cameron has to lose the 2015 General Election. He must know WHY he lost. And the pro-EU politicians from the other 3 parties must also know why he lost.
    The one draw-back is that we know what will Cameron’s successors will do when this does happen.
    Their solution to the problem is to follow the EU example: in that they will eliminate the burden of having the option to leave the EU – by making it much harder to leave the EU.


  • RKing

    At last I feel that SOME tories are begining to get the drift on the EU (except for that pratt “BoJo”).

    No deal Farage just make these arrogant “we know best” politicians squirm!!


  • HooksLaw

    The ‘war’ message sums it up. Loopy. Massive ego trip which if he were successful would deliver a Europhile labour government.

    For the record ms Hardman, Boris is only repeating what Cameron said about a year or so ago. So far from helping Cameron set out a new position, he is only confirming a position taken quite a while ago.

    • Vulture

      I have just heard from Ukip that they signed up FIFTY new members in Roitherham yesty ( a Sunday) in the wake of the fostering scandal.

      I don’t think the Tories in Rotherham or anywhere else signed up a man and a three legged dog as new members.

      If there is any ego tripping here its from the man who called Ukip ‘Loonies, fruitcakes and closet racists’ and who is leading the Conservatives to destruction.

      Looks like the loonies have taken over the asylum and the fruitcakes are running the whole goddman bakery.

      Get used to it Hookie – we nutjobs are on the march.

      • TomTom

        Going to be a big shortage of foster parents in Rotherham at this rate…..

    • Colonel Mustard

      Yes indeed – “loopy”! As European socialist federalism continues to slowly strangle sovereignty and centuries old English liberty what could be more sane, sensible, practical and necessary for the long-suffering English people in this fair and equitable country than English-only student fees, English-only prescription charges, more immigration, more taxes to pay for it, gay marriage to drive a schism through our established church, more wind farms to desecrate our countryside, minimum price alcohol taxes to stop the law-abiding majority binge drinking, more internet, email and ‘phone surveillance, the twin spectres of press regulation and internet censorship and our very own Stasi.

      Whatever are UKIP thinking? They must be mad.

    • Chris lancashire

      Spot on HooksLaw, the only thing voting UKIP guarantees is another control freak Labour government which will be totally in Brussels pocket. Never mind reality though, let’s all get behind Nigel who can deliver freedom from these European oppressors. That’s if the two Eds let him.

      • HooksLaw

        Coffee House is fruitcake central. No sense and no feeling. The blatant attack on UKIP by loopy lefties is of course a big publicity boost for them.

  • Vulture

    Fabricant’s views are as askew as his ludicrous wig. He totally ignores the fact that his party leader is not only a confirmed Europhile who wants Britain in the EU no matter what; but also that the same leader has described Ukip members as ‘Loonies, fruitcakes and closet racists’ This typically arrogant comment puts Dave in the same camp as Rotherham’s charming Common Purpose harridan Joyce Thacker.

    So it’s ‘No deal’ Fabby so long as your party is led by servile Europhile Dave. Depose him and put in someone like Gove and we might start to take you seriously.

    But at least it shows that the Tories are beginning to recognise reality: Viz. that the tectonic plates are shifting and Ukip represents an overwheming anti-EU wave that will sweep them away unless they change their course.

    • an ex-tory voter

      The message for the Tories is simple: “dump Dave or die”

      • Vulture


    • Coffeehousewall

      Vulture, Cameron has been in India setting up a Common Purpose organisation. He belongs to the same movement as the Thacker woman and has the same low view of the electorate.

      This is why Cameron has been keeping quiet about Rotherham:-

      He was promoting Common Purpose in India and is undoubtedly a graduate. That explains his many nanny-like pronouncements.

      • Vulture

        Thanks CHW: I may be being paranoid, but I know that Nick Clegg used the words ‘Common Purpose’ in the infamous Rose Garden Press conference when the Coalition was born. I might be wrong, but I think that Dave used them on the same occasion.

  • FrankS

    A pledge from David Cameron is about as convincing as Mr Fabricant’s syrup.

  • Andy

    I have long felt that UKIP should become the Conservative Party’s ‘Militant Tendency’. It should have infiltrated the Tory Party and taken it over. On almost every issue you can think of UKIP are basically Tories.

    And it is really time we looked at our relationship with the EU. We are seeing two EUs developing: the Eurozone and those who are not members of the Euro. Britain has a choice opening up – we can leave the whole mess or we can assert leadership of the none Euro members.

    • Noa

      “…we can leave the whole mess or we can assert leadership of the none Euro members.”
      Andy, it’s an interesting thought. Of course we could do both, and have trade arrangements with the Euro countries. No reason whatsoever to have the prophylactic barrier of the sclerotic Brussels bureaucracy interposed between us.

      • Andy

        What might happen is that the EU will split in two – into the Eurozone and the noneEuro. Trouble is that would end up being such a mess it might be simpler if all the noneEuro countries left and created a new organisation which came to some accomodation with the remaining Eurozone.

        • Noa

          A Eurozone EU will be hampered by a bankrupt France and one wonders how long Germany, Finland et all will be prepared to tolerate that?
          A non Eurozone EU is really a contradiction in terms. Why would it tolerate Brussels policing and oversight when the EU block actively discriminates against it?
          But why should we wait on Van Rumpoy, Barroso et al to determine the UK’s destiny? It must be in our own hands. The UK should be at the front, leading, not following, a widespread exit from the Democratic Deficit that is the EU.

          • Andy

            We already have basically a two Eu’s. The Eurozone are quite happy to go off and decide things between themselves. In other words they have turned themselves into a block and this will mean they will impose what they want on everyone else.

            My main beef with Cameron is that he has not got together with the other non-Euro countries to convene meetings etc separate from the Euro group where matters of common interest could be discussed. It is merely sauce for goose and gander.

            • Noa

              I genuinely believe that he hasn’t got the vision and wit to take the lead like that. He is of the generation that takes the EU’s supremacy as a given, having lived with it for half his life.

      • TomTom

        China seems to have quite a lot of trade with the EU but keeps its own “democratic” traditions alive and even puts “CE” labels on everything to show compliance with EU regulations even when they aren’t compliant…….and as for Russia everyone seems to want to sell to them…….so BMW and Mercedes might like to keep Audi company on British roads and not upset their major Absatzmarkt

      • ButcombeMan

        Cameron lacks the leadership attributes to carry that sensible plan out.

        There seems to be no one around him who will tell him the truth, he, with Osborne’s help, is destroying the Tories.

        I never meet a Cameron supporter, I meet people who would like to support the Tories-I meet people who have always voted Tory, but absolutely supporting Cameron? No. Not a one.

    • TomTom

      as Reform Party under Stephen Harper did in Canada

    • William Blakes Ghost

      The problem is when you analyse the Conservative Party positions now many would sit more traditionally with a Blairite Labour Party. UKIP are replacing the Conservatives as a mainstream conservative party and because UKIP are not toying with all this liberal nonsense they have a coherent (conservative) policy platform as opposed to the confusing almost unrecognisable mess that Cameron’s two faced liberal / conservative omnishambles.

      PS You really haven’t a clue what the militant tendency was have you. UKIP are the exact opposites of those authoritarian thugs.

      • Andy

        Actually I have a damned good idea of what militant tendency was and is. I loath those fascists.

        What I actually meant was that UKIP should have infiltrated the Conservative Party and taken it over ! All UKIP are doing now is allowing Labour to get in and they will do the exact opposite of what UKIP actually want. It is a self defeating policy.

  • Daniel Maris

    Although I don’t agree with UKIP’s economic and social policies I will be giving it serious consideration in a general election because it is the only serious non-racist party addressing both EU membership and mass immigration. I am certain that they attract a significant number of potential Conservative voters so the Tories are silly in my view to ignore the merits of a deal, given that the alternative is to find themselves in another coalition – with the Lib Dems.

  • EJ

    If I were Nigel I wouldn’t go anywhere near the dying Tories. Loonies and racists, eh Dave? Well unfortunately for you, Mr Slippery, UKIP DO reflect what most conservative voters wish for far more effectively than you! They intend to tackle the EU, immigration, cultural displacement – you give us gay marriage and wind farms and continue fostering the left wing group-think that has its jackboot crushing the public windpipe (see Rotherham). Good luck in 2015.

    • Heartless etc.,

      Hear! Hear! EJ. Thank you! Why indeed go anywhere near a mostly putrid mass of uselessness?

    • George_Arseborne

      Tories getting scared!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. What an utter shame of a main stream political Party that lacks strategy to govern on its own?

  • Swiss Bob

    Did Johnson ever explain the reason for his Damascene conversion?

    Any Tory offer isn’t going to reduce UKIPs growing membership.

    • TomTom

      Perhaps his Eurocrat father’s pension…….

    • Noa

      Good on ya Swiss Bob. I’m going over there to canvass, now do I need a visa for the Lancashire-Yorkshire border yet…?

      • TomTom

        No, it’s London that requires visas from visiting Northerners as they cannot understand the Patois or the behavioural patterns of the Tower of Babel on The Thames

    • Vulture

      Does the survey say how many will vote Respect Bob?
      In Muslim areas Respect are Labour’s Ukip. Rotherham is not a million miles away from Bradford, the scene of Gorgeous George’s upset win in February.
      Also, Labour’s parachuted-in Common Purpose candidate Sarah Champion displaced a local Muslim man who was the favoured local candidate: 80 of the 115 Labour members at the seledtion meeting walked out in protest.
      Even though people would vote for the late Jimmy Savile’s corpse if it wore a red rosette up there, we could see more than one upset in Rotherham on Thursday/

      • Swiss Bob
      • TomTom

        Respect won in Bradford because of Civic CORRUPTION and did so in Wards that were WHITE – it is simply lazy to say Respect won Muslim votes in a seat that had returned a HINDU MP for years Marsha Singh……the Muslim youth vote as such DEFIED Muslim Elders who had been bought and who allowed this constituency to have the fastest rising unemployment in Yorkshire…….the Ward covers the University and perhaps students were fed up of Labour doing zilch except line their own pockets with dodgy Councillors

        • Vulture

          I don’t think it’s unfair to characterise Respect as a Muslim, party Tom.
          Galloway is an Islamist jihad apologist if not a covert Muslim himself. Respect’s candidate in Rotherham, Yvonne Ridley, is that dumb former Express hackette who converted to Islam after being briefly kidnapped by the Taliban : a case of the Stockholm syndrome in practice.
          If it talks like GG, and walks wearing a burqua like YR then as far as I’m concerned respect is Muslim, but if in Yorkshire it also draws its support from white voters surely there’s even more reason to expect a possible upset in Rotherham. And I haven’t even mentioned the widespread disgust for the former MP whose crookery caused the election: Denis McShame.

          • TomTom

            Vulture, Bradford Council has 90 Councillors for 500,000 people and 30 of them are Muslim working cross-party. Labour is always the largest party but is thoroughly corrupt. 99% those nominating the Labour leader Ian Greenwood were Muslim; his deputy was knee-deep in fraud and Muslim. The Biraderi issue is key to understanding that seat and the control different clans from Kashmir have inside Labour……..most people would vote for Galloway simply to shake up the cosy Conservative-Lib-Dem-Labour Corruption and Stagnation……how many city centres are a giant building site for 7 years with nothing happening ?

            • Vulture

              TT: Your local knowledge is clearly awesome ( did you hear the conversation abt your other area of expertise, Germany on Marr’s Start the Week this morning ubrigens?) I would, therefore, welcome a similar depth analysis of Rotherham politics and your forecast of the by-election results. Seriously, I think many of us doon sooth want to know.

              • TomTom

                Vulture….I would dearly love UKIP to romp home….but that would require Labour voters to a) stay at home b) switch preferences…….I do think it could happen especially as LibDems are dead

              • MirthaTidville

                As someone who comes from the same neck of the woods to Tom Tom, I think Rotherham is the one to watch. A female Burka is unlikely to go down well there, its not that sort of a place. Lots of anger with both Mc Shame and the Council. As its a by election a lot will vote tactically. Watch the UKIP vote….

  • Noa

    Time enough before the next election for a party of the Right to determine whether and on what terms it really wants to ally itself with a loose conglomeration of racists, fruitcakes and loonies.

    UKIP has plenty of time to consider.

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