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ANDREW PIERCE: Nigel Farage wins the hearts of grassroot Tories with seven out of ten backing his return to the Conservatives – but he’ll have to get out of the I’m a Celebrity jungle first

More good news for Nigel Farage, who — it was reported last week — is being paid a record fee of £1.5 million to appear in the next series of ITV’s I’m A Celebrity . . .

A poll published yesterday by Tory-supporting news website ConservativeHome showed that seven out of ten party members would be keen to welcome Farage back into the fold should he reapply to become a Tory member.

It’s a marked change since 2014, when barely a third of the members were in favour of the party forming an alliance with Farage’s Ukip.

In its report, Conservative Home says: ‘The shift in sentiment about the former Ukip leader is unmistakable. What’s changed? First, the EU referendum.

A poll published yesterday by Tory-supporting news website ConservativeHome showed that seven out of ten party members would be keen to welcome Farage back A poll published yesterday by Tory-supporting news website ConservativeHome showed that seven out of ten party members would be keen to welcome Farage back

A poll published yesterday by Tory-supporting news website ConservativeHome showed that seven out of ten party members would be keen to welcome Farage back

Farage attended the Conservative Party Conference last month for the first time since 1988, having quit the Tories in 1992 in protest over then PM John Major’s signing the Maastricht Treaty Farage attended the Conservative Party Conference last month for the first time since 1988, having quit the Tories in 1992 in protest over then PM John Major’s signing the Maastricht Treaty

Farage attended the Conservative Party Conference last month for the first time since 1988, having quit the Tories in 1992 in protest over then PM John Major’s signing the Maastricht Treaty

‘Most of our panel will have been for Brexit, and see Farage as being on the same side. Next, celebrity: he is morphing into one.

‘Finally, his appalling treatment by Coutts [bank] exemplified the pervasiveness of woke capitalism — and his canny fightback conveyed a sense of a man who gets things done.’

Farage attended the Conservative Party Conference last month for the first time since 1988, having quit the Tories in 1992 in protest over then PM John Major’s signing the Maastricht Treaty, which established the European Union.

Farage's popularity could be further boosted by appearing on I'm A Celebrity. Former Health Secretary proved an unlikely hit Farage's popularity could be further boosted by appearing on I'm A Celebrity. Former Health Secretary proved an unlikely hit

Farage’s popularity could be further boosted by appearing on I’m A Celebrity. Former Health Secretary proved an unlikely hit

It’s a marked change since 2014, when barely a third of the members were in favour of the party forming an alliance with Farage’s Ukip It’s a marked change since 2014, when barely a third of the members were in favour of the party forming an alliance with Farage’s Ukip

It’s a marked change since 2014, when barely a third of the members were in favour of the party forming an alliance with Farage’s Ukip

His popularity could be further boosted by his appearance on I’m A Celebrity. It is not unprecedented for a politician to claw back their reputation by publicly humiliating themselves on the ITV reality show’s bushtucker trials.

Indeed, disgraced former Health Secretary Matt Hancock proved a highly unlikely hit last year, eventually finishing in third place.

 

Labour is opposing ‘disrespectful’ plans by Home Secretary Suella Braverman to convert RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire, former home of the Dambusters, into asylum-seeker accommodation. Her plan has been challenged in the High Court. If the judge gives the plans the go-ahead, my eyes will be on former Labour leader Ed Miliband. Why? The judge, Justine Thornton, is his wife.

 

House of Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle will plant a Garden of Remembrance in New Palace Yard, Westminster, this week.

Hoyle tells me: ‘Armistice Day this year is particularly poignant as we mark 60 years since the last of our brave national servicemen were demobbed in 1963 and we remember the 70th anniversary of the end of the Korean War, in which 1,100 British lives were sacrificed.’

 

Diane loses her charity mojo 

Despite being a small education charity, Abbott’s foundation spent £29,000 — more than 80 per cent of its annual budget Despite being a small education charity, Abbott’s foundation spent £29,000 — more than 80 per cent of its annual budget

Despite being a small education charity, Abbott’s foundation spent £29,000 — more than 80 per cent of its annual budget

Accounts filed at Companies House for the Diane Abbott Foundation yet again show no donations — or activity of any sort — in the last financial year.

The charity is supposed to focus on advancing the cause of young black people in education and business, but it seems the Labour MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington has lost her philanthropic mojo. 

Its last major fundraiser was an awards ceremony held in the 2013-14 tax year.

Despite being a small education charity, Abbott’s foundation spent £29,000 — more than 80 per cent of its annual budget — funding the London Schools and the Black Child (LSBC) awards in Westminster. The charity has received no donations since.

 

Former Lib Dem minister and keen cyclist Sir Norman Lamb returned to Norwich railway station to find only the lock and a wheel of his bike remaining. 

Attached was a note from local police saying it was ‘abandoned . . . or causing an obstruction’. Lamb fumed: ‘It’s blindingly obvious the bike was nicked.’ 

 

Preaching from the pulpit comes naturally to our moralising politicians. And none is more pious than former Tory MP Rory Stewart. 

Delivering a lecture at St Martin-in-the-Fields Church in London, Stewart, a former soldier and now podcast host, asked: ‘I mean, who wants to be a politician? 

What kind of hero-complexes, what kind of narcissism, what kind of archetype is taking place when someone stands to be a politician?’

What indeed? Stewart was MP for Penrith and The Border till 2019 and ran unsuccessfully for the Tory leadership in 2019 before losing any hopes of a stellar political career after rebelling over Brexit.

LabourEU ReferendumNigel FarageUKIPITV

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