Grant Shapps: Conservatives 'rule out' UKIP pact


The prime minister's election adviser, Michael Fabricant, has urged him to consider a pact with the UK Independence Party, claiming UKIP is costing the Conservatives votes in crucial marginal constituencies.

Mr Fabricant said an electoral pact with UKIP - in which the Tories would promise a referendum on European Union membership after 2015 and in return UKIP would not stand against Tory candidates - could help the Conservatives win an extra 20-40 seats at the next election.

But Grant Shapps, Conservative Party Chairman, told The World At One: "I can categorically rule out any form of electoral pact with UKIP or anyone else."

"We do need a reformed relationship with Europe, and that's exactly what we're proposing."

Stewart Jackson, who stepped down from his post as a parliamentary private secretary after defying a three-line whip to vote for a referendum on Europe, said: "We need to strike out as a political party rather than a partner in the coalition and say to people that an 'in/out' referendum on polling day would be the best way forward."

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.