Brexiteer Leave.EU Founder Arron Banks Blocked From Joining Conservative Party

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The Conservative party has blocked former UKIP donor and Leave.EU founder Arron Banks from joining the membership, blocking him from voting in a future leadership contest.

The businessman had claimed Thursday that his application to join the party had been accepted after urging his supporters to follow so they could influence a future leadership contest.

But a spokesperson for the Conservative party told Sky News his application and that of Banks’ spin-doctor Andy Wigmore had not been approved.

Speaking to the Westmonster website, which he founded and backs, Mr Banks said Thursday the “battle for Brexit” is now within the Tory ranks and an “inevitable” leadership election.

“Over 1.4m people follow Leave.EU online and we have urged them to join up and have their say,” he said.

“Most of our members are proper conservatives that believe in immigration control, family values, self-reliance and prudent management of the economy.”

He added: “My Conservative Party membership lapsed in 2013 and I today joined the party.”

According to Channel 4 News, the Tories have also barred the Conservatives for a People’s Vote campaign, which is pushing to overturn the Brexit vote, from partaking in the party conference.

Some Tory MPs, such as Antoinette Sandbach, spoke out against the move.

Meanwhile, former UKIP leader Nigel Farage is strongly opposed to Mr Bank’s stance, writing on Twitter last Monday: “I would like to make something clear: I do not recommend joining Mrs May’s Conservative Party.”

He added: “The Referendum Party and UKIP achieved a huge amount, none of which could have been achieved inside the Conservative Party. This issue is bigger than party politics.”

At the beginning of this week, Mr Banks called on supporters of Leave.EU on Twitter to join the Conservatives so they can vote in the next party leadership election.

On Thursday, he claimed that Tory chairman Brandon Lewis has sent his a “welcome letter” saying he “is now active and welcome to attend any event.”

Mr Banks also sent messages to Remain-supporting Tory MPs such as Anna Soubry who have warned that the Tories are at risk of entryism by supporters of a “hard Brexit”.

He wrote: “Play nicely we are family now! Richard Tice [a founder of Leave Means Leave and former co-chair of Leave.EU] makes three out of the four bad boys of Brexit now Conservative members…only Nigel Farage left.”

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