Major Donor to U.K. Conservative Party Switches Support to UKIP

Businessman Arron Banks announces decision hours before PM David Cameron delivers last major conference speech prior to May election.

Guy Faulconbridge
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
UKIP leader Nigel Farage listens to the declaration of the Newark by-election at Kelham Hall near Newark central England, June 6, 2014.
UKIP leader Nigel Farage. An admirer of Vladimir Putin.Credit: Reuters
Guy Faulconbridge

REUTERS - A businessman who has given hundreds of thousands of pounds to British Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative party said on Wednesday he was switching his support to the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP).

The decision by Arron Banks, announced hours before Cameron delivers his last major conference speech to his party before a May 2015 national election, was designed to embarrass the British leader and persuade other Conservatives to follow suit.

"I've supported the Conservatives for a number of years but have come to the realisation that only UKIP supports my views," Banks said in a statement released by UKIP.

"Being a member of the EU is like having a first class ticket on the Titanic," he added, referring to the doomed ocean liner. "Economically, remaining in the EU is unsustainable."

His defection follows that of two Conservative lawmakers with UKIP working hard to try to create the impression that Cameron's party is falling apart because of what it says are his overly centrist policies.

William Hague, a senior Conservative lawmaker, told the BBC that Banks was not a senior figure in the Conservative party.

Banks could not be reached for immediate comment.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

SUBSCRIBE
Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

The projected rise in sea level on a beach in Haifa over the next 30 years.

Facing Rapid Rise in Sea Levels, Israel Could Lose Large Parts of Its Coastline by 2050

Tal Dilian.

As Israel Reins in Its Cyberarms Industry, an Ex-intel Officer Is Building a New Empire

Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III and a British synagogue.

How the Queen’s Death Changes British Jewry’s Most Distinctive Prayer

Newly appointed Israeli ambassador to Chile, Gil Artzyeli, poses for a group picture alongside Rabbi Yonatan Szewkis, Chilean deputy Helia Molina and Gerardo Gorodischer, during a religious ceremony in a synagogue in Vina del Mar, Chile last week.

Chile Community Leaders 'Horrified' by Treatment of Israeli Envoy

Queen Elizabeth attends a ceremony at Windsor Castle, in June 2021.

Over 120 Countries, but Never Israel: Queen Elizabeth II's Unofficial Boycott