Tory MPs are earnestly appealing to Reform UK not to contest against them in the election.

Party leader Richard Tice claims that Nigel Farage will have an official role in Reform’s election campaign.
Terrified Conservative MPs are begging Reform UK not to run against them in the general election, according to the leader of the right-wing populist party.
Richard Tice also stated that Nigel Farage, who previously expressed his belief in leading the Conservative party within three years, will play a formal role in Reform’s election campaign.
The party announced on Wednesday that Ben Habib, its deputy leader, will run in the upcoming Wellingborough byelection, making it even more challenging for the Tories to defend a seat that Labour hopes to win for the first time since 1997.
However, Farage was not present at the event in central London, where there was a significant media presence. Tice insisted that Farage was committed to Reform.
“I am very confident that Nigel is committed. He is already our president. You could remove the honorary title and call him President Farage, alongside a potential President Trump,” said Tice.
Farage, who holds a dominant share in Reform and is listed as a “person with significant control” in Companies House, told The Guardian that he did not say he would attend the event.
“I am the honorary president. It was Richard’s show today. All I can say is: never say never,” he replied when asked about returning to assist Reform.
Farage declined to confirm whether he would appear on stage at an event in Doncaster in February, where Reform is expected to reveal their candidate list for the general election, but he acknowledged its significance.
Recent polls have shown support for Reform as high as 11%, and the party has pledged to contest every constituency in England, Scotland, and Wales, posing a threat to the Tories’ electoral prospects by erasing the majorities of numerous Rishi Sunak MPs.
“The special pleading has already begun in the new year. ‘Oh, please don’t run here. Please refrain from running. I’m one of the good guys,'” Tice said, referring to the calls he claimed to receive regularly from Conservatives, as he reiterated that there would be no special deals with Rishi Sunak’s party under any circumstances.
The Tories secured a majority in 2019 after Reform’s previous incarnation, the Brexit party, chose not to field candidates against them in the 317 seats won by the Conservatives in 2017, in exchange for Boris Johnson’s commitment to leave the EU by 2020 and pursue a Canada-style trade deal.
Tice did not disclose the number of Tory MPs or councillors he was in conversation with, but emphasized that it was a significant number. He also claimed that many disgruntled Tory donors were talking to him.
During the press conference, where he criticized the Conservatives’ taxation policies and record levels of immigration, Tice mentioned that Tory deputy chairman Lee Anderson was concerned that Reform would make him lose his job. Reform previously denied allegations of offering financial incentives to MPs to defect, including claims that Anderson was offered a substantial sum of money last month.
The Conservatives responded on Wednesday through their party chairman Richard Holden, who stated that a vote for Reform “will only strengthen Labour’s hand”.
“The Conservative government is focused on making long-term decisions for the country – stopping illegal immigration, reducing inflation, and cutting taxes. If voters desire real action for a brighter future, the Conservatives are the only choice,” he added.

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