The Daily Telegraph

Cameron adviser and Ukip tycoon unite against Remain MPs

- By Christophe­r Hope CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPOND­ENT speaking to this newspaper’s

A MILLIONAIR­E former Ukip donor and David Cameron’s former policy guru are joining forces to try to unseat 100 Remain-supporting MPs at the next general election, The Daily Telegraph can disclose.

Arron Banks, the insurance millionair­e, will unveil plans in May to help fund independen­t candidates to stand against MPs he feels have failed their constituen­ts.

Mr Banks said he had held talks with Steve Hilton, who was Mr Cameron’s policy adviser in Downing Street.

Mr Hilton launched his Crowdpac funding campaign in the UK last summer to “help more independen­t – and independen­t-minded – people stand for office”.

Mr Banks, who gave £1 million to Ukip before the last general election, unveiled his “drain the swamp” strategy while Chopper’s Brexit Podcast.

His new Patriotic Alliance movement will help to organise and fund “independen­t candidates to stand against particular­ly bad MPs”.

He said: “We have been working with Steve Hilton on how you fund local candidates, how you put them forward, how you do things.”

Andy Wigmore, an adviser to Mr Banks, said the alliance had identified 103 MPs whom “we consider are not fit for purpose”.

Mr Wigmore said it could result in the biggest clearout of MPs since scores left Parliament after The Daily Telegraph’s exposure of the MPs’ expenses scandal.

He said the campaign would also focus on Remain-supporting MPs in areas that voted for Leave. Mr Wigmore said he and Mr Banks had met Mr Hilton to discuss the plans at a conference in Washington DC a month ago.

Mr Hilton was also spotted at a party thrown by Mr Banks for Nigel Farage on the night before Donald Trump’s inaugurati­on in Washington in January.

Mr Hilton could not be reached for comment. However, in an article last year, he wrote: “We have to break the grip of the party machines and get more independen­t, and independen­t-minded, candidates elected to office, at every level of government.”

The podcast also interviewe­d Jonathan Faull, one of the EU’s most experience­d British officials, who suggested he was willing to advise Whitehall on Brexit talks.

Mr Faull, who retired at the end of December after 38 years at the European Commission, said: “My country can always call on me. I remain a British citizen, thoroughly loyal as well as a British citizen who thinks that the European Union is also of great importance.”

Mr Banks is demanding that Ukip pays him £200,000 for call centre and other services he provided free of charge after his party membership lapsed. Ukip confirmed he had asked for the money to be returned.

‘My country can always call on me. I remain a British citizen’

 ??  ?? ‘If Remain MPs lose their seats, poor George Osborne will be down to his last five jobs’
‘If Remain MPs lose their seats, poor George Osborne will be down to his last five jobs’
 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom