'Very likely' that more Tory MPs will defect to Reform UK, says Ann Widdecombe

'Very likely' that more Tory MPs will defect to Reform UK, says Ann Widdecombe
Georgia Pearce

By Georgia Pearce

Published: 12/03/2024

- 09:15

More Tory MPs are likely to follow Lee Anderson and defect to Reform UK, according to party member and former Tory minister Ann Widdecombe.

Asked if more could follow, she told GB News: “It's more than possible, particularly now that we've got Lee Anderson. We've got somebody who speaks directly for them and is trusted by them in the Red Wall. So yes, I think it's very likely.

“Will we get more defections? We may, we may. It doesn't follow that we take everybody who wants to do that. You know, we're pretty choosy, but yes, I would have thought it was very likely.

“I can't see the Tory party suddenly reviving. I think it's going to go on on its current trajectory and if it doesn't, a lot of people will be saying, ‘well, hang on, can we rescue Conservatism by going elsewhere?”

In a discussion with Martin Daubney and GB News Political Editor Christopher Hope, she continued: “It’s a very, very canny appointment and it's terrific that Lee has decided to join us, because actually he speaks for the Red Wall and that is where Brexit got a huge number of its votes and an awful lot of its support from.

“Therefore, it's ripe territory for Reform but we do need the right person, we need the person who speaks the language of the Red Wall, the sort of person that the Red Wall would trust. We've got him, in the shape of Lee Anderson.”

She added: “I think the one thing about the Reform party is the refreshing change from the Tory party, because it isn't full of factions and divisions and people fighting for number one and all the rest of it.

“We're all hoping that Lee will play a huge role and that, as far as the Red Wall voters are concerned, that he’ll be the face of the Red Wall. None of us will have a problem.”

Asked if Reform UK might overtake the Conservative Party in the polls in the summer, she said: “It's possible. I don't know whether it's probable but it's certainly possible. It’s certainly what we'll be working towards.

“Although quite obviously I see why there is all the emphasis is on the Tory party, we need also to expose the inadequacies of Labour and the person who's best placed to do that is Lee Anderson, because he knows that party well…”


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