Conservatives ‘try to buy off Nigel Farage with a peerage’ amid fears over the threat he poses in an election
- Nigel Farage was approached to sound out over accepting a peerage from Govt.
- Allies of Brexit Party leaders say move appeared to be attempt to ‘buy him off’
- Polls indicate if Brexit Party stood down candidates, Johnson could win majority
Nigel Farage was approached by a ‘middle man’ to sound him out over accepting a peerage from the Government, it was claimed last night.
Allies of the Brexit Party leader say the move appeared to be an attempt to ‘buy him off’ and remove the threat he poses in a General Election.
A source said: ‘It seems someone thought that if Nigel was given a place in the Lords, he would call off his dogs and make it more likely the Tories would win a majority at the next Election.’
Nigel Farage (pictured) was approached by a ‘middle man’ to sound out over accepting a peerage from the Government, it was claimed last night
Polls have indicated that if the Brexit Party, currently polling on about 14 per cent, stood down its candidates, Boris Johnson could win a majority of more than 80 seats.
Mr Farage’s party poses a particular risk to the Tories in strong Leave-supporting areas such as Thurrock in Essex, which Mr Farage himself is eyeing as a possible location for him to mount his eighth attempt to enter the House of Commons.
The MEP has long been linked with a peerage, with Tory critics mockingly saying it would be only way he would ever get into the Westminster Parliament.
Earlier this year, there were suggestions that Theresa May’s Government had missed a trick by not sending him to the House of Lords where he could have served as a Brexit Minister and helped negotiate a better exit deal from Brussels.
But Mr Farage, who has nurtured a reputation as an anti-establishment figure, has continued to meet speculation about a peerage by insisting he does not want one.
Instead, he has hinted he would settle for a knighthood. Asked two years ago whether he wanted a peerage, Mr Farage replied: ‘Nope, wouldn’t want one at all. I would not want a peerage – if something else came along I might accept it.’
In 2016, contenders to replace him as head of Ukip all said they would campaign to get him a seat on the famous red benches if they won.
Mr Farage replied that ‘it will never happen’.
Last night, he was unavailable for comment.