Senior Conservatives Split On UKIP Response

REUTERS/Toby Melville
REUTERS/Toby Melville

BOLTON, United Kingdom – Splits in the Conservative Party over how to deal with UKIP were once again exposed today as senior figures gave contradictory messages on the party’s position. While the Bow Group told members to vote for Nigel Farage’s party in places the Conservatives cannot win Iain Duncan-Smith described UKIP as a “suicide note” that will “not be forgotten”.

On the attack: IDS in the Telegraph.

On the attack: IDS in the Telegraph.

Mr Duncan-Smith was quoted in this morning’s Daily Telegraph as saying voting UKIP is “unfathomable” and people “will not be forgiven” for ruining the chances of holding an in-out referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU.

Despite Duncan-Smith’s comments many Conservative voters agree with UKIP on issues like Europe and immigration but may stick with David Cameron to avoid splitting the right-wing vote. Tory HQ launched an unprecedented attack on the Bow Group for asking it’s members to support UKIP.

This led a number of Bow Group Patrons to withdraw their support of their own chairman, Ben Harris-Quinney. Nirj Deva MEP, Michael Howard and Norman Lamont issued a statement in which they said Mr Harris-Quinney does not “represent our views”.

The Bow Group had emailed it’s 10,000 supporters calling for them to vote for UKIP in seats the Conservatives were unlikely to win. This included Thanet South, where Nigel Farage is challenging for a seat the Conservatives currently hold.

The group said: “As Patrons of the Bow Group we believe that this country’s best interests are served by voting Conservative in all situations. Ben Harris-Quinney does not speak for us or represent our views.”

A party insider was much less polite and told Breitbart London: “That sound you can hear is Ben Harris-Quinney disappearing up his own a**e. The Bow Group are a one man band these days. Basically irrelevant, it’s sad really.”

Harris-Quinney has been a long-term supporter of the campaign to unite the right-wing of both UKIP and the Conservatives. He boycotted the last Conservative Party Conference because of David Cameron’s stance on gay marriage.