Jacob Rees-Mogg tells Rishi Sunak to make Nigel Farage a minister in Reform pact

Tory Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg has urged Rishi Sunak to make an election pact with Reform UK – and offer Nigel Farage the chance to be a Government minister.

The former Business Secretary said Mr Sunak should make a “big, open and comprehensive offer to those in Reform” to join the Tories after a recent poll gave Labour a 30-point lead over the Conservatives. Sir Jacob claimed a pact with the right wing party could help the Tories out of the doldrums and put election victory “within reach”.

Mr Farage has been flirting with a return to frontline politics but has so far refused to say whether he will play a role for Reform UK in the general election. In 2019, Reform – then known as the Brexit Party – stood aside in Tory-held seats, handing Boris Johnson a massive majority.

Speaking on GB News, where he’s a paid presenter, Sir Jacob said the Tories must return to their roots and represent Brexit voters. “The Conservative Party must represent these people, the very people who gave us, who lent us their support to give us an 80-seat majority in 2019,” he said.

“With the help of Nigel Farage in a Conservative government, as a Conservative minister, with Boris Johnson probably returning as Foreign Secretary as well welcoming the likes of Ben Habib and Richard Tice into our party, as well as pursuing genuinely conservative policies, winning the next election suddenly becomes well within reach.”

But Reform UK’s Deputy Leader Ben Habib hit back, saying his party doesn’t trust the Conservatives to deliver on their promises. He said he agreed with the criticism but added: “The problem I’ve got is that no matter what you say your party doesn’t do what it promises. We’ve heard these promises for 14 years. Boris Johnson promised a lot of it.

“We were promised all of this and we’ve been promised it again and again and I would like nothing more than to be put out of politics by a resurgent centre right, pro-British, pro-British people’s interest party that no longer necessitated people like me being in politics. I’m only here, frankly, because the Conservative Party hasn’t been conservative.”

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Policing Minister Chris Philp told Sky News: “I didn’t see that suggestion from Jacob. Who the Prime Minister brings into the Government is up to him.”

Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Daisy Cooper said Mr Sunak lacked the backbone to stand up to his MPs. She said: “If the Prime Minister had any bottle he would suspend the whip from Rees-Mogg and rule out Nigel Farage being allowed into the Conservative Party.

“The public is sick to the back teeth of this endless Conservative soap opera as they watch the NHS crumble, filthy sewage pumped into their waterways and their mortgages spiral. Rishi Sunak should put us all out of our misery and call a General Election.”