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Reform denies claims it offered Tory MP ‘a lot of money’ to defect

26 Nov 2023 3 minute read
UK Parliament official portrait of Lee Anderson,

Reform UK has denied claims that it offered money to Conservative deputy chairman Lee Anderson to defect to the party.

The Sunday Times reported that Mr Anderson, an outspoken MP who has represented Ashfield since 2019, claimed last month to have been offered “a lot of money” to join the Nigel Farage-linked party.

Richard Tice, the leader of the Reform UK party, has rejected the claim – reportedly made by Mr Anderson at a South Cambridgeshire Conservative Association event last month.

According the paper, which has obtained a recording, Mr Anderson told activists: “Now there is a political party that begins with an R that offered me a lot of money to join them. I say a lot of money, I mean a lot of money.”

Mr Tice said: “These are the same libellous allegations first made by (Chief Whip) Simon Hart MP back in February.

“He heard from my lawyers. That case is still live to be progressed at my choosing.

“But I can confirm that I have had numerous discussions with a good number of Tory MPs who are fuming at their leadership.”

Criticism

Mr Anderson has attracted criticism for a range of remarks on everything from food banks to illegal migration.

Earlier this month, after the Supreme Court struck down the Government’s landmark Rwanda asylum plan, he suggested ministers should “ignore the law” and start sending asylum seekers to the east African nation.

But he is a favourite of activists and MPs on the right of the party.

Rishi Sunak earlier used an interview with the Mail on Sunday to warn dissatisfied voters against abandoning the party, amid fears among some Tory MPs about the electoral threat of Reform UK.

“A vote for everyone who is not a Conservative is a vote to put Keir Starmer into office,” Mr Sunak said.

Nonsense

It was reported by the Times earlier this year that Mr Hart had reported Reform UK to the Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle over allegations that the party had offered MPs who defected a full salary for five years – even if the politicians lost their seats.

Mr Rice had at the time labelled the claims as “nonsense”.

The PA news agency has contacted the Conservatives whip’s office, as well as Mr Anderson.

The allegations come as Nigel Farage, the party’s honorary president, appears in the latest series of ITV’s I’m a Celebrity.

Mr Farage, who led Reform UK during its previous incarnation as the Brexit Party, has been seeking to win over viewers with his stint on the reality show.

Reform UK has only taken small proportions of the vote in recent by-elections. But that has not stopped some Conservatives fearing that Mr Tice’s party could exploit voter unhappiness over small boats and immigration at the next general election.


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Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
2 months ago

Why would ‘not even worth 30p Leenoch’ in his inappropriate and undeserved position as Deputy Chair of the largest and leading race hate party in the UK, which is in government, leave it to join a fringe no mark version of the same thing?

Llyn
Llyn
2 months ago

Shows how right wing the Welsh Conservative Party is when a Chairman of the Party, who is lionised by the leader of the Welsh Conservatives (anyway the “leader” who sits in the Senedd rather than the other 2) is being courted by a far-right populist party.

Jeff
Jeff
2 months ago

Whoever said what, either way two parties with far right ideals are looking to cross in the polls (cons dropping, Reform up). This should be a worry for everyone. Netherlands, Argentina, Italy, Hungary, Penn in France, Trump in the US, people voting for these are voting for years of pain and suffering and very dark paths for any nation to take.
But Sunak keeping 30p in post, trumpeted by the Welsh Blanket Fog Horn, this is heading one way who ever wins out of those two.

Sarah Good
Sarah Good
2 months ago

Well he advertises his worth in his nickname

Steve A Duggan
Steve A Duggan
2 months ago

It makes little difference what party he belongs to – the right is going to take a kicking next year and many Conservative MPs will be subject to the punitive DWP while on the dole.

Dai Ponty
Dai Ponty
2 months ago

Well he fits the bill he is far right and Reform are far right or FASCITS would be more like it and he is a traitor during the Miners strike he went from the N U M National union of Mineworkers to the new union formed to break the strike U D M Union of Democratic Miners SCAB UNION and he was also a member of the Labour party at one time Leopards do not change their spots so to speak

Richard
Richard
2 months ago

Where do we forward our donations ?

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