Tory MP: ‘Nigel Farage Is Doing a Better Job than Theresa May in Leading’

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage, Member of the European Parliament, attends a press conference regarding the party's European Parliament election campaign in London on May 7, 2019. (Photo by Tolga Akmen / various sources / AFP) (Photo credit should read TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images)
TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty

A Conservative Party MP has openly expressed his approval of Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage, saying he “is certainly doing a better job than Theresa May in leading.”

Henry Smith, Member of Parliament for Crawley, told local media that he cannot “believe a word she [Prime Minister May] says” and lamented Britons having to take part in European Parliament elections at the end of this month.

“First of all these elections should never be taking place,” the Brexiteer said. “People voted to leave the European Union three years ago and it’s the fault of the Prime Minister and Parliament for not doing that.

“I won’t be surprised at all if more voters turn to the Brexit Party. Nigel Farage is certainly doing a better job than Theresa May in leading, but this is an issue larger than party politics,” he told The Argus, adding, “I don’t think anyone could do a worse job than she’s doing.”

Mr Smith would not be the first Brexiteer Tory MP to praise Mr Farage or his Brexit Party, with Lucy Allan MP tweeting last month that the party had “some fantastic candidates.”

Mr Farage has had a warm relationship with a number of Leave-supporting Conservative MPs, notably chairman of the European Research Group (ERG) Jacob Rees-Mogg, former party leader Iain Duncan Smith, and former Brexit Secretary David Davis, all of whom have shared a stage with the Brexit Party leader for a number of Leave Means Leave rallies in the past.

Two Tory politicians have already defected to the Brexit Party, Annunziata Rees-Mogg (the sister of Jacob) and Conservative grandee Ann Widdecombe, with a source close to Farage telling The Times in April he “is 100 per cent sure that there is at least one high-profile defection in the pipeline with others likely to follow.”

Late last month a leaked WhatsApp group message from one Tory MP to members of the ERG suggested that it the possibility of sitting MPs defecting could be on some of their minds, the message reading, “Maybe we should all just defect to the Brexit Party. Can you imagine the chaos.”

Meanwhile a YouGov poll predicts that more than half of 2017 Tory voters would back the Brexit Party in the upcoming European Parliament elections. Latest polling by the non-partisan firm also reveals the Brexit Party to be in the lead in voter intentions for the European Parliament election at 30 per cent, with the Tories in third with 13 per cent.

Voter dissatisfaction with Prime Minister May’s handing of Brexit played out in last week’s local elections, where the Tories haemorrhaged seats, many voters spoiling their ballots and writing in demands for Brexit.

However, the Conservative Party mechanism is so threatened by the Brexit Party, that it has reportedly warned party members that should they campaign for Mr Farage they would be expelled. The party machine is also allegedly planning to smear Mr Farage, calling him an opportunist with links to ‘extremists,’ according to leaked Conservative campaign materials seen by The Times.

Mr Farage declared that after European Parliament elections he would be taking his party to Westminster in the 2022 General Election; however, the party’s debut in the House of Commons could come far sooner after entrepreneur Mike Greene was announced as the Brexit Party candidate for the by-election in Peterborough, which voted 61 per cent in favour of Leave in the 2016 referendum.

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