‘Worrying’ comments by Tory activists show they back Farage over Putin and Ukraine

Tory activists on a Conservative Party members’ Facebook group have given their support to Nigel Farage over his claims the west “provoked” Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

When The Independent showed Labour the leaked remarks on chatrooms a source described them as “worrying”.

One party member in the discussion group claimed that Farage “has his finger on the pulse” of public opinion after Farage attacked Nato expansion and claimed it gave Putin the excuse he needed to invade Ukraine in 2022.

It comes after a new poll of 10,000 voters suggests that Reform are still ahead of the Tories with Conservatives switching support to Farage’s party.

Tory activists on a Conservative members only Facebook group have voiced support for Farage over his controversial comments attacking Nato over Ukraine (PA)
Tory activists on a Conservative members only Facebook group have voiced support for Farage over his controversial comments attacking Nato over Ukraine (PA)

The leaked posts were from a Conservative members-only Facebook group. The Conservatives Party Members Group, a private group for verified members, has over 3,000 Conservative members including MPs such as Andrew Rosindell, Joy Morrisey, John Penrose and Virginia Crosby.

Previously the same group included members making misogynistic attacks on Penny Mordaunt when she represented the Tories in the seven-way debates. They were also critical of Rishi Sunak when he was in the head-to-head with Sir Keir Starmer.

On Friday night, Mr Farage stated in an interview with the BBC’s Nick Robinson NATO and the EU instigated the conflict in Ukraine by expanding eastwards.

Senior Conservative figures jumped on Farage’s comments as a dividing line between them and Reform, with Home Secretary James Cleverly stating this morning that he would never allow Farage to join the Conservative party.

Rishi Sunak said the Reform UK leader’s comments were “completely wrong and only plays into Putin’s hands”.

Farage has since suggested negotiating with Putin and doubled down on the comments on Ukraine he first made in 2014.

However, Conservative members and councillors disagreed.

One party member said: “Well he is absolutely correct. Why do other people think Putin invaded? For a laugh.”

A former councillor agreed: “Many Conservatives think he’s absolutely right.”

The former Tory councillor added: “The simple hypocrisy of the EU wanting to expand its empire while Russia was forced to give up its own! Wasn’t going to end well, was it?”

Another current councillor disagreed that Farage had “shot himself in the foot”, saying “If you poke the Russian Bear, don’t be surprised if Russia retaliates.”

There was also some criticism for Conservative policy and UK Government policy.

One current Conservative councillor wrote that “Boris is probably responsible for the war continuing”, while a member wrote that “there are increasing misgivings about how much we are spending and what it’s achieving here”.

Another thought that Farage was “saying as it is”.

“Whatever your views on Farage, he does have his finger on the pulse,” stated another Conservative member, pointing to Farage’s previous predictions of conflict in Ukraine in 2014.

Another member stated that Farage had “made a valid point about EU expansion’, with another stating that the US had ‘tried to implement regime change in Ukraine [...] Nigel Farage is not wrong.”

The Conservative Party has distanced itself from the Facebook group noting that one member was also a member of the Lee Anderson Apprecation group.

A Conservative party spokesman said: “This is not an affiliated Conservative Party Facebook group”.

But a Labour source said: “These worrying comments threaten to undermine our united front against Russian aggression.

“The only winner here is Putin, and every real Conservative should disavow these comments immediately.

“There may be a change of government following the General Election, but there will be no change in our united support for Ukraine and for NATO as a cornerstone of our defence and security.”

In an interview with The Independent, Royal Marines Colonel Alistair Carns said one of the reasons he is standing for Labour in Birmingham Sellyoak is because of support for Farage among Tories and the Reform UK’s comments on Ukraine.