Alexandra Phillips’s claim that a 50,000-strong increase in Conservative Party membership is fuelled mostly by UKIP deserters makes a very strong argument about where the party’s loyalties always really lay.
Of course, an extra 50,000 Tories isn’t going to upset anyone in Labour too much, because Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership has more than doubled that party’s membership to almost 600,000 – but it leaves any claim that UKIP represented more than the fabled ‘one per cent’ in tatters.
Ms Phillips’s claim that the Conservatives are following policies in line with those of UKIP should be no surprise to anyone but the many left-wing voters who were duped into supporting the party, in the belief that it would support them in return. In fact, UKIP policies were always copied from the Tory book:And it is chillingly telling that Ms Phillips’s advice to Nigel Farage, not to talk about banning immigrants with HIV during the 2015 election campaign, let to her being dismissed as a “pinko” (meaning a ‘soft’ socialist or communist).
She quite clearly isn’t, having just joined the Tories. But where, on the political spectrum, does that put the rest of UKIP?
Perhaps David Whitley, on Twitter, has it right:
“You know what I think we should bring back? Treating the UKIP conference like we would the BNP conference.”
One of Nigel Farage’s closest aides, who headed Ukip’s media operation for three years, has said the party has “disintegrated” and that she has joined the surge of members and supporters turning to the Conservatives.
Alexandra Phillips said Theresa May had delivered on all key elements of Ukip’s 2015 election manifesto “within a matter of months”, leaving her former party with few places to go in policy terms.
“I think ideologically the Tories are doing the Ukip dance now,” she said, pointing to policies on Brexit, immigration, grammar schools and fracking.
Phillips said she believed that a surge in membership for the Tories, with 50,000 people joining over the summer, was coming largely from Ukip deserters, admitting that she was among them.
Looking back at her time as head of media, Phillips said she begged Farage not to talk about banning immigrants with HIV during last year’s general election, warning that it would be a “disaster”, but had been dismissed as a “pinko” by other aides.
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