Tory MP’s election leaflet includes picture of Reform leader Nigel Farage

Dame Andrea Jenkyns (Kirsty O’Connor/PA) (PA Archive)
Dame Andrea Jenkyns (Kirsty O’Connor/PA) (PA Archive)

A Tory MP who previously described Nigel Farage as a “true patriot” has put a picture of the Reform UK leader on her election leaflets.

Dame Andrea Jenkyns has said the arch-Brexiteer is a “conservative to the core” and “one of the most influential politicians of our generation”.

In fact, Dame Andrea admires Mr Farage so much that she has put a picture of the two fo them smiling together in a prominent position at the top of her re-election leaflet.

As well as putting a picture of an opposing party leader on the handout it also contains no clear references to the Tory Party at all.

Responding to the furore, she said on X, formerly Twitter: “Lots of excitement over my leaflet today... All conservatives must be prepared to come together to prevent a socialist supermajority and the end of Britain as we know it. #CountryFirst.”

The threat of Reform to the Tory Party increased significantly after Mr Farage decided to stand in the Clacton-on-Sea seat last week.

At a campaign rally he said that his goal was for the upstart party to effectively take over the Conservative Party and that he would be a “bloody nuisance” in Westminster if he succeeds in becoming an MP at his eighth attempt.

The most recent poll indicates that Mr Farage’s party has moved to within one point of the Tories. The YouGov survey published after Mr Sunak launched the Tory Party’s manifesto on Tuesday, found Mr Farage’s party were on 17 per cent.

Mr Sunak’s party is on 18 per cent, while Labour retain a 20-point lead, in the poll carried out between 10 and 11 June.

The Independent exclusively revealed that Dame Andrea and former Leave.EU communications director Andy Wigmore attempted to make a deal between the Tories and Reform.

Sources have suggested that Mr Sunak “was interested” but ultimately convinced not to go ahead by his advisers.

Dame Andrea has previously admitted her admiration for Mr Farage and attended his 60th birthday party, along with former Tory Party leader Liz Truss.

In a tweet, she said: “A pleasure to be invited to @Nigel_Farage‘s 60th birthday bash — a true patriot, conservative to the core, and, like him or loathe him, one of the most influential politicians of our generation. Cheers!”

The Conservative Party has been approached for comment.