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Shapps slaps down fresh calls for Ukip pact

23 May 2014

Inevitably, given Ukip has made strong gains overnight, some Conservative MPs have been renewing their calls for a Tory-Ukip pact. Conservative ministers have been quick to brush this off, with Grant Shapps arguing:

‘We’re not going to have a pact or joint candidates, or whatever. It can’t happen on a technical basis because we do not allow joint candidates to stand… It’s not going to happen because we’re the Conservative party; we are the best chance to offer an in/out referendum, the only chance.’

Michael Gove was also asked about this on Good Morning Britain, and he said:

‘Absolutely not. I don’t think we should have a pact.’

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The Tories had been quite bullish about the local results in their briefings in the run-up to these polls. But they, like all the main parties, have so far seen their share of the vote drop. Perhaps their attitude in the run-up to polling day will make it a bit more difficult to calm MPs.

They will need to offer something more reassuring than just a straightforward declaration that they’re not going for a pact with Ukip. Some suggestion of a serious strategy to win back those Ukip voters that will keep MPs who are anxious busy so their hands are not idle would help.

But it’s worth noting that those who have renewed their calls for a pact – Peter Bone, Jacob Rees-Mogg and Douglas Carswell – have been making this argument for a long time. They are not jittery MPs in marginal seats, and Number 10 will be far less worried for that. It is more significant that Carswell, who has been rather loyal recently, is making the suggestion, though.

I argue in my Telegraph column today that David Cameron has far less to fear from some of the biggest troublemakers in his party. But in order to stop them causing trouble after these results, the Prime Minister does need to do more than reject their ideas: he needs to very quickly show that he has ideas of his own so that his angry men don’t become dangerous again.

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Show comments
  • evad666

    Ha Grant Shapps and Nick Bowles the unacceptable faces of modern Conservatism.

  • you_kid

    Of course there will be a pact, a pact discussed in the back rooms, not in the open.
    That’s British democrackery for you.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      …so sorta like when you and all your sockpuppets get together?

  • swatnan

    UKIP will make pacts with the Tories at local and National level.
    Of course they’ll suffer the same fate as the Lib Dems who had the cheek to think they could run Govt Depts and Councils, and unltimately, UKIP will lose their grassroots support and the title of ‘Official Party of Protest’. The Moaners and Grumpies and Whingers are comfortable with tossing brickbats from the sideliunes but can’t bear responsibility of any sort.

    • Colonel Mustard

      “The Moaners and Grumpies and Whingers are comfortable with tossing brickbats from the sideliunes but can’t bear responsibility of any sort.”

      A good description of the Labour party. Although you missed out chip-shouldered grievance monkeys and victimhood bleaters.

  • Smithersjones2013

    ROFLMAO Does anyone seriously think that UKIP would do a deal with David brent impersonator Shapps? Seriously it was the most pointless piece of posturing of the night!

    • the viceroy’s gin

      Yeah, that is pretty funny. That little strumpet will be the first jettisoned, when the purge comes.

  • Hello

    Ukip have people with a vested interest in the long term success of the party now. People like Paul Nutall, Suzanne Evans, Diane James; the way they do politics is fundamentally different, a pact will only substantiate Ukip, and long term that’s just trouble. They can’t work with the Conservatives, and nor would they want to. Take Farage out of the equation and you’ll see Ukip as it’s going to be: incompatible.

    • Tony_E

      But what is long term success for UKIP? Can they continue past a referendum, especially if it is lost, or would the support fold up?

      I rather suspect that the best outcome for UKIP as a political party is the election of a Labour government. It gives them another 5 years to build themselves into what might be a political force. But a referendum in 2017 would probably be the end of them, because if it is won, they cease to have a reason to exist, and of they lose, the public will have put the EU in charge for another 2 generations at least, at which point we will be part of a superstate and only armed insurrection will free us.

      • Hello

        Farage has already disassociated himself with the Out campaign, though. Even if the UK votes to stay in, it won’t be Ukip’s loss exactly, and they’ll still be able to point out that 30%/40% of people voted to leave, and that’s a good base to build on.

        Also they’re going to have local councillors for 3 years before the referendum, it’s inevitable that they are going to broaden beyond simple euroscepticism.

    • Holly

      What do they call the UKIP bloke who was arguing with Thornberry?
      Grey haired chap, who hit the nail on the head, as far as Labour & Cameron are concerned.

  • MirthaTidville

    I just wish for one brave interviewer to ask half wits like Shapps this question…“Tell me minister,how is the PM feeling this morning having seen his party beaten by and have Tory council leaders losing their seats to fruitcakes,loonies and closet racists?“

    • Blindsideflanker

      Cameron was still putting his foot into his mouth yesterday

      “Britain has heard enough of ‘appalling’ Ukip, says Cameron: Prime Minister launches scathing attack on rival party’s ‘politics of anger’ ”

      It would seems from the people’s response, no Mr Cameron people have not heard enough from them.

      • Colonel Mustard

        He really is showing his true colours as a nasty, common purpose, communitarian, trendy, metro-sexual, UAF supporting ‘liberal’ bien-pensant wet. God knows how the Conservative party ever ended up with a silly fool like that “leading” them.

        Untold damage to the brand. Untold stupidity.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          Such opportunity lost. Time wasted, never to be recovered. It’s so sad.

          There is just one decision to be made. It’s the Spring, and pruning must take place in that short window. It’s time.

  • Blindsideflanker

    Not bad for a bunch of……

    • the viceroy’s gin

      In 11.5 months time, that guy’s head is going to be mounted on a spike.

      Mark your time, Dave.

  • Colonel Mustard

    In this thread too. Every other person’s comment tagged by Comical Teli.

    A website harassed and disrupted to destruction by a Labour party shill who simply cannot let other people have their say without trying to dominate and bully every thread.

    • john king

      Not too much to worry about there colonel.
      He gives Labour an even worse name than they deserve. I’m sure he embarrasses even fanatical lefties.

  • colliemum

    Amazing – the Tories still don’t realise that there need to be two partners in a pact.
    What makes them think UKIP wants a pact?
    And why, if it’s such impossibility for the likes of Shapps, are some Tories already making a big noise about why it ain’t gonna happen?

    • telemachus

      Farage has been angling for a pact these last 5 years
      He knows that without it he simply delivers Tory marginals to Labour

      • Hexhamgeezer


      • Colonel Mustard

        UKIP is doing enormous damage in the Labour heartlands of the North, winning 86 seats overall with 59 councils declared and on course to win over 100.

        • Tony_E

          But that won’t necessarily deliver any seats, just reduced Labour majorities.

          • Colonel Mustard

            That doesn’t matter at this stage. It is rebellion not revolution. And rebellion is the British way.

        • Kitty MLB

          Indeed Colonel. The arrogance of Labour, who thought their
          abused and ignored voter would never have another
          option. UKIP are the party for old- Labour. They have caused
          a dent in the Conservative party and should be a lesson for Cameron. But Labour are heading for political oblivion.

    • Tony_E

      Farage of course, was the one who suggested it on the Today program this week. The Tories have rightly slapped the offer down.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        It was suggested by the interviewer, as I recall, and Farage included all parties in the suggestion, not just one. That’s been a standing offer from UKIP, as I understand. Anybody can come and accept their principles and they’ll talk. Pretty standard populist tactics.

  • Barakzai

    ‘ . . . the Prime Minister . . . . needs to very quickly show that he has ideas of his own . . . ‘

    He’s full of them. Hug a hoodie, stroking huskies, re-defining marriage. As Del boy would say . . . .

    • telemachus

      Osborne is the ideas man
      And he is interested only in himself and his kind

      • Hexhamgeezer


    • Kitty MLB

      What can I say. Cameron thrives on a challenge and when his back is against the wall.
      They say the person who you would want to lead you in a crisis, that is your
      Prime Minister. And on those occasions Cameron is a Conservative PM
      instead of a coalition PM..
      Its Labour who clearly need to worry.

  • Dave

    Who says Ukip want any pact?

    • telemachus

      He wants to shunt his party back into the Tories

      • Colonel Mustard

        UKIP is damaging Labour in their heartlands of the North, gaining 86 seats overall with 59 councils declared and on course to win over 100.

      • Kitty MLB

        Buzzing little wasp has it all wrong again. Its the working class voter
        who excessive immigration has effected the most, that they are after.
        Oh do wake up and smell the coffee.

  • WatTylersGhost

    Oh what sport!
    Watching Shapps argue with Rees(Potter)Mogg after midnight on the BBC last night was fun. One result in from Sunderland and the pathetic Tories were ripping chunks out of each other.

    • telemachus

      The sport is just beginning
      Watch Farage crumble as folks realise he has no policies

      • Barakzai

        ‘Watch Farage crumble . . . ‘

        Remind us how much a weekly shop costs. And who runs Swindon Council.

        • telemachus

          Those trivia matter less than the fact that Farage has no policies to address either the economy or the cost of living

          • Hexhamgeezer


            • Ian Walker

              If it had one to play with, it wouldn’t spend so much time fouling up this place

          • Laguna Beach Fogey


          • Aberrant_Apostrophe

            Worrying about the cost of living and knowing who controls your life are ‘trivial’? That’s precisely why UKIP are taking LibLabCon seats, you arrogant fool.

          • PaulClieu

            Farage has no policies to address either the economy or the cost of living

            I believe UKIP would like a smaller state with lower taxation.

            Lower taxes would certainly boost the real economy with more investment and more real jobs leading to increased wages, lower prices that combined with control over the border will certainly quickly result in very much higher living standards. Exactly the policy Cameron should have followed but was too stupid to understand.

      • Colonel Mustard

        UKIP is doing huge damage in the Labour heartlands of the North, gaining 86 seats overall with 59 councils declared and on course to win over 100.

        • Holly

          I knew this would happen.
          It was all very funny to them while it was only hurting the Tories, and they thought that they were simply going to stroll straight back into power.
          I knew that UKIP would grab Labour votes up north, and
          In their arrogance, they ignored it.
          I genuinely hope UKIP do fantastic up here, because I also reckon any Labour voters switching to UKIP are not like Conservative voters who have switched to UKIP, the Labour switchers will not go back to Labour, whereas some of the Conservative one’s will, if only to keep Labour away from power.

          • Kitty MLB

            Indeed Holly. It may be a little bump for the Conservatives
            and a wake up call for my esteemed sleepy leader the Prime
            Minister. But UKIP will damage Labour very much as they
            are the new party for the working class voter up North
            who have been ignored and abused for years.

      • Holly

        I reckon you should not get too far ahead of yourself.
        UKIP have ‘joined the dots’ where people’s anger is concerned, and Labour aiming to gain in the south, and patting themselves on the back in places they gain, while ignoring the north WILL quicken their downfall.

  • telemachus

    No pact
    So as I have said
    UKIP will split the Tory vote in the 43 Tory marginals and deliver the necessary victory to the forces of reason
    I council you all to listen to Angela Eagle tonight on Any Questions

    • Ricky Strong

      You’re busy this morning Tele.

      Making up for your dear leader’s paltry election campaign?

    • Colonel Mustard

      UKIP is punishing Labour in their heartlands of the North, gaining 86 seats overall with 59 councils declared and on course to win over 100.

    • MirthaTidville

      you`ve lost 10 seats to UKIP in Rotherham EL that takes some doing..But you are right about one thing, those 10 seats have been delivered to the forces of reason..lets hope for many more

      • Hexhamgeezer

        a vote against tele’s grooming facilitators and chums perhaps?

    • Adam Carter


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