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: 7 May 2024, 12:11

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.

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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position of the party clear, he has asked Lee to apologise, Lee didn't apologise which is why the party whip has been withdrawn.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.

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