Ukip ‘cleansing’ the Tory party

Ukip has cleansed the Tory party of undesirable elements by attracting racists out the mainstream, a Conservative MP has said.

Robert Halfon told House magazine Ukip had done the Tories an "enormous favour" by stripping more extreme Conservatives out the party.

He also attacked Ukip MEP Gerard Batten's demand that Muslims sign a declaration of non-violence as akin to the Nazi treatment of the Jews.

"To me there are two kinds of UKIP – the Godfrey Bloom guy who's like a cross between Sid James and Bernard Manning, and then there's a much more sinister element, like the MEP who said every Muslim has got to sign a declaration of non-violence, which to me is literally akin to the Nazis saying Jews should wear a yellow star," the Harlow MP said.

"I genuinely find it abhorrent and frightening. I'm amazed that man is still an MEP, how someone could say such a thing and then not apologise for it.

"In many ways UKIP have done us an enormous favour because they're cleansing people from the Tory party that had these kinds of views, which is great because I don't want people who have those kinds of views in my party. So good luck to them, really."

Nigel Farage said he would organise a Ukip day of action in Halfon's constituency in response to the comments.

"Mr Halfon's hysterical slurs are the result of a growing Tory terror of Ukip's rising popularity all over the country," he said.

"Because I believe in taking politics and the big arguments directly to the people, Ukip will now be having a national action day in Harlow.

"Let the voters of Harlow hear what we have got to say. I know that many of them are already flocking to our side."

He added: "As we approach the next general election we will also consider whether to add Harlow to our target seat list given the positive response of people in the town to our message."