4 Jul 2016

Leadsom opponents try to label her ‘Ukip candidate’

Tory MPs say their constituency associations are being inundated with emails like the one below from Leave.eu followers, who’ve been urged to wade into the Tory leadership contest in support of Andrea Leadsom.

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It’s all part of the efforts of Ukip donor and Nigel Farage close ally Arron Banks. Mr Banks believes Mrs Leadsom is the best bet for getting as much distance between the UK and the EU post the referendum. He’s throwing his campaign machine behind the former Treasury minister who unveiled her campaign today.

Many of the emails coming into Tory MPs’ offices are from Ukip supporters. They often use a formulation about the “Conservative family” needing strong leadership.

Mrs Leadsom also has the man who managed some of Nigel Farage’s media contacts during the referendum at her side, Nick Wood.

Theresa May supporters are jumping all over this and saying that Mrs Leadsom is “the Ukip candidate”. This evening’s hustings for Tory MPs will probably see her opponents making more of this.

Mrs Leadsom’s supporters insist they have received no money from Mr Banks and the Ukip donor himself is clear that he hasn’t spoken to her or donated any money. But he’s giving help that he hopes could make the difference.

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