The Tories and UKIP are preparing to work together

The Conservatives are getting ready for another coalition - this time with Ukip.


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Yesterday, the Tory PPC in my constituency joined Ukip. Today, a prominent Tory in Thurrock has announced they are backing Ukip. These latest humiliations are a further sign that even the Tories know David Cameron cannot win a majority, but also that the two parties are slowly becoming an alliance of people as well as policy.

David Cameron has failed to shoot Ukip’s fox, as was once his target, and now craves their support. He has gone from calling Nigel Farage’s band a party of “fruitcakes loonies and closet racists” to yesterday saying that his party was the natural “home” for Ukip supporters.

Such has been David Cameron’s capitulation to Ukip that he has not only promised a referendum he once argued against, giving up our national influence overseas on the way, but he is now preparing to work with Ukip after the election.

David Cameron, George Osborne and a host of Tory Cabinet Ministers have repeatedly been asked to rule out working with Ukip after the election, but have refused to do so.

And despite their denials, the terms of a deal have been set. Nigel Farage has said he wants an early in/out referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU in exchange for supporting the Tories, something David Cameron has said he would be “delighted” to offer.

There is also now a growing number of Conservative MPs calling for a deal with UKIP - alongside the two who have already crossed the floor - and even greater support amongst grassroots Conservatives, with reports that almost half of Conservative activists want David Cameron to forge some sort of alliance before the election.

Indeed, the desire for a deal is so strong that some Tories are reportedly already striking deals with Ukip up and down the country in key marginals.

But just imagine what would happen if the Tories went in to partnership with Ukip.

Ukip have signed up to the Tories’ extreme spending plans, which cut spending on public services faster in the next three years than the past five, putting the NHS at risk.

Ukip also want to go further in privatisating of the NHS. The Tories’ have opened the door to increased privatisation, with private providers now securing a third of  contracts to provide clinical services, but Nigel Farage wants to break up the NHS altogether with an “insurance-based system”.

Both parties also favour further tax breaks for those at the top, while working people’s wages remain £1,600-a-year below 2010 levels. Ukip’s plans would give 16,000 millionaires over £100,000 in tax breaks, something George Osborne would no doubt relish.

This agenda jars with families in my constituency in Yorkshire, those reading this in the Capital, or any other part of the UK.

While Ukip and the Tories see raiding each others’ activists as their greatest hope for progress, Labour is offering a better plan for a better future, based on increased living standards for all , saving and transforming our NHS and support for the next generation.

David Cameron must now come clean about his plans to do a deal with Ukip. Neither party stands up for working people. Together they would do deep damage to our living standards and the services on which we rely.

Alan Johnson is a former home secretary and MP for Hull West and Hessle. His books include In My Life: A Music Memoir (Bantam Press)

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