Reform UK leader Richard Tice says he rejected two Tory MPs who tried to defect in the last year

27 February 2024, 09:30 | Updated: 27 February 2024, 10:32

Richard Tice said he turned down two Tories who tried to join the party
Richard Tice said he turned down two Tories who tried to join the party. Picture: LBC

By Asher McShane

Reform UK leader Richard Tice has told LBC he rejected two Tory MPs who tried to defect to the party in the last year.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Taking calls from LBC listeners, Mr Tice refused to name the two individuals, but said that he had “already turned down two Tory MPs… over the last 13 months."

He refused to say why he turned them down but added: “There are some people who wanted to join us but we’ve said thanks but no thanks.

“I want people that subscribe to our values, our principles, our integrity.”

Tice rejected two Tory MPs

Read more: Nick Ferrari cuts off minister who refuses to answer his questions nine times over Lee Anderson's 'Islamophobic remarks'

Read more: Rishi Sunak says he's 'living proof' the UK isn't racist after Lee Anderson refused to apologise for Islamist claim

Asked if he would accept Lee Anderson into the party amid the recent Islamophobia row, Mr Tice said: “I think it’s a hypothetical. Let’s wait and see.

“I’m not giving a running commentary.”

Mr Anderson has previously indicated that if the whip is not restored he would be interested in possibly standing as a Reform candidate at a General Election.

Last year Mr Tice denied reports that Mr Anderson was offered money to defect to his party. 

The Sunday Times reported that Mr Anderson claimed last year that he was offered "a lot of money" to join.

Home Secretary James Cleverly has joined calls for former Tory deputy chairman Lee Anderson to apologise after his criticism of Sadiq Khan sparked a Islamophobia row.

Mr Anderson doubled down on his criticism of Sadiq Khan as Rishi Sunak came under pressure to label his words as Islamophobic.

Mr Cleverly said yesterday: "The Prime Minister has made the position of the party clear, he has asked Lee to apologise, Lee didn't apologise which is why the party whip has been withdrawn.

"I think Lee should apologise, what he said wasn't accurate, it wasn't fair, but the Chief Whip and the Prime Minister have made the party position absolutely clear on this."

The former Tory deputy chairman on Monday admitted his original remarks were "clumsy", but said saying sorry "would be a sign of weakness".

It came after the Prime Minister denounced Mr Anderson's comments that cost him the Conservative whip as "wrong".

The Ashfield MP was suspended over the weekend after he claimed "Islamists" had "got control" of Mr Khan and London.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

The Israeli Iron Dome air defence system launches to intercept missiles fired from Iran

Israel hails ‘success’ in blocking Iran’s unprecedented attack

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned that the Middle East is 'on the brink'

'The Middle East is on the brink,' UN chief warns, as Israel approves plan of attack after huge Iranian onslaught

Elections 2024 Media Debates

News organisations urge Joe Biden and Donald Trump to agree to debates

Survivors of the attack are set to sue MI5

Hundreds of survivors of Manchester Arena bombing to sue MI5

The UK is set to experience some warm, dry weather

Two-week period when Brits to bask in warm, dry weather revealed, after cold period ahead

Lennix died after being hit by a car on Saturday

Parents pay tribute to 'happy go lucky' son, 8, killed in crash while riding scooter on quiet Wiltshire road

Damien Guerot stepped in in Sydney

Builder who wielded bollard to defend children from rampaging Sydney knifeman says attacker's 'eyes were empty'

The IDF said over 300 weapons were fired by Iran.

Israel approves plan of attack after foiling massive Iran onslaught, as world leaders call for 'stabilisation'

The G7 have condemned the Iran attack on Israel

G7 leaders condemn Iran's 'unprecedented' attack on Israel and say they 'stand ready to take further measures'

Russia Ukraine War

More civilians die in Ukraine amid warning US aid delays will hamper Kyiv forces

The minibus lying on its side

Seventeen rushed to hospital after bus carrying football fans overturns on motorway in multiple car smash

Bill Nighy

Bill Nighy and Paloma Faith join celebrities demanding Government act over Sudan

Dawn Singleton was among six victims of the stabbings

Police officer fiancé of Sydney stabbing victim 'discovered she had been killed after being scrambled to the scene'

The IDF said over 300 weapons were fired by Iran.

Israel says Iran conflict 'not over' and vows to 'collect a price when timing is right', as US urges restraint

Poland Abortion

Polish opponents of abortion march against recent steps to liberalise strict law

A boy, 8, was killed in the incident.

Boy, 8, dies after crash on quiet Wiltshire cul-de-sac