Conservative Party conference: Lord Heseltine warns Tories over pact with ‘racist’ Ukip

The UK Independence Party was denounced as racist today by Lord Heseltine, the former Deputy Prime Minister.

He mounted the strongest ever attack by a senior Conservative on the party amid calls from some Tory right-wingers for an electoral pact between Ukip and Eurosceptic MPs.

Lord Heseltine likened Nigel Farage’s party to supporters of Enoch Powell in the 1960s, saying: “We have seen Ukips before”.  He also drew a parallel with the rise of far-Right politicians in Europe such as the Front National in France.

He said: “You always have these right-wing racist operations pandering to the lowest common denominator in politics.”

Lord Heseltine told the BBC: “Of course it is racist, who doubts that? The language, the rhetoric, the membership – who doubts it?”

He said he was not accusing Mr Farage of racism, but added: “His party is very attractive to a racist agenda.”

The former Deputy Prime Minister warned his party that any formal link with Ukip would drive “pivotal” voters in the political centre ground away from the Conservatives.

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