British politician Nigel Farage reacts during the Old Surrey Burstow and West Kent Boxing Day annual meet in Chiddingstone, Britain, 26 December 2023. EPA-EFE/NEIL HALL


Right on? Brexiteer Farage open to ‘joining Tories’ after UK elections


Former leading Brexiteer Nigel Farage said he is “open-minded” about joining the Conservative Party after the next UK elections because he said he believes in a “major” realignment of the Right.

Farage is set to attend the launch of the former prime minister Liz Truss’ Popular Conservatism (PopCon) group on February 6. Officially, he is attending as a GB News presenter but many read more into it than that.

PopCon aims to move the Tories further Right, pushing for lower taxes and stricter migration policies, including leaving the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) if its members declare it a hinderance to migrant repatriation.

For the launch, prominent Conservatives such as former business secretary Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg and Lee Anderson, who resigned as the party’s deputy chairman in January over the Rwanda Bill, are set to be present.

Talking to The Telegraph on February 4, Farage declared that he disagreed with many Tory policies and would not attempt to join the party before the anticipated UK autumn elections.

When asked if he might run for office as a party member following the election, he said it would depend on how the British political Right “regrouped”.

“I think we just have to wait and see,” he said.

“I’m open-minded about anything that happens after the election. Let’s see.

“But, for me, the thought that the official Conservative Party is ever going to move, it doesn’t look very likely,” he added.

“But who knows?”

The outcome of the elections, where Labour is set to win, will “determine” his decision. Another likely factor will be how well, or otherwise, the Reform UK party, the heir to the Brexit Party, performs.

In 2019, Farage helped the Conservatives win office by making the candidates of his own Brexit Party stand down in certain areas. That enabled the Tories under Boris Johnson to win and gave them the mandate to leave the European Union.

The upcoming elections will not see such a move of solidarity – in fact, say observers, the Reform party is drawing in traditionally Conservative voters. While Labour is polling at 45 per cent, the Tories are on 25 per cent with Reform UK raking in around 10 per cent.

PopCon, whose members form the Right flank of the Conservative Party, are, according to Farage, ideologically close to the Reform party. He said he expected a realignment might happen after the elections.

“If you look at what I anticipate Truss is going to say and what [Reform UK leader] Richard Tice is saying, then you have to think that at some point in time these people will all be together,” Farage said.

“I think there is the possibility of a post-election major realignment occurring and I can see PopCon potentially as being part of that process.”