UK

Farage highlights Tory divisions over how to respond to rise of Reform

Lord David Cameron and Suella Braverman presented different approaches to responding to Nigel Farage.

Nigel Farage was described as ‘incredibly divisive’ by Lord Cameron
Nigel Farage was described as ‘incredibly divisive’ by Lord Cameron (James Manning/PA)

Nigel Farage has highlighted Tory divisions over how to respond to him and his Reform UK party.

Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron said Mr Farage was “incredibly divisive” and trying to “destroy” the Conservative Party.

But former home secretary Suella Braverman has suggested the Conservatives should welcome Mr Farage into the party.

Mr Farage said: “On the same day that Suella Braverman says she wants me in the Tory party, David Cameron is abusive about me.

“Sums them up.”

In a Times interview, Lord Cameron – who as prime minister had to contend with Mr Farage as Ukip leader – said: “He is currently trying to destroy the Conservative Party by standing for Reform … I want to be as sure as we can that we get no Reform Members of Parliament and the Conservative Party can move forward.”

Lord Cameron said there was room in the Conservative Party for people who cared about immigration and defence.

“But the other baggage you get, which can be incredibly divisive, we don’t want that.”

He said issues had to be dealt with by “robust policy and measured language”, but “I think with these populists what you get is inflammatory language and hopeless policy”.

Mrs Braverman used a Telegraph interview to restate her view that Mr Farage could be welcomed back into the Tory fold “if he was supporting the Conservatives and wanted the Conservatives to win”.

The former minister, a potential leadership contender if the Tories are defeated and she holds on to her seat, told the newspaper: “We shouldn’t have this split on the right.

“If we’re a proper Conservative Party that just does what we promised to do, like cut migration and cut taxes, we would not have this division … and we’d have another 15% added on to our polling right now.”

She added: “I do think that had we done better on immigration, I don’t think we’d be dealing with this problem right now. I urged the Prime Minister for years to take some action on illegal immigration … I was blocked.”