Millionaire Tory donor defects to UKIP

A millionaire Tory donor who has given quarter of a million pounds to the Conservative party since 2010, this morning announced he is defecting to UKIP.

Arron Banks marked his move by donating £100,000 to UKIP, which is expected to strengthen the party’s by-election campaign in Clacton this month.

It is the third Tory defection to UKIP in five days, and will add further embarrassment as it comes ahead of Cameron’s speech at the Conservative party conference today.

UKIP leader Nigel Farage put a message on Twitter this morning saying “I am delighted to welcome Arron Bank’s support to UKIP. His generosity will go a long way in our campaign.”

Speaking to the BBC, Farage said that Banks’ move was “only the start”, and said it was possible that Banks may stand for election for the party next year.  

Speaking to Sky News, Banks said: “I’ve supported the Conservatives for a number of years but have come to the realisation that only UKIP supports my views.

“Being a member of the EU is like having a first class ticket on the Titanic. Economically, remaining in the EU is unsustainable.”

According to the Guardian, Michael Dugher, the shadow Cabinet Office minister said: “David Cameron is haemorrhaging support and his authority is ebbing away. He can’t control his party, who clearly have no confidence in his leadership.”

But leader of the Commons, William Hague, said during an interview on BBC Radio 5 Live that he had “never heard of him so we are not going to get too upset about that.

“It’s certainly not going to overshadow the prime minister’s speech today that someone we haven’t heard of has gone to UKIP.

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